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Jesse James' double duel, or, The price of a life

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Title:
Jesse James' double duel, or, The price of a life
Series Title:
Jesse James Stories
Creator:
Lawson, W. B.
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
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Language:
English
Physical Description:
32 p. ; 26 cm.

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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
028821123 ( ALEPH )
07360573 ( OCLC )
J14-00050 ( USF DOI )
j14.50 ( USF Handle )

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Dime Novel Collection
The Jesse James Stories

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Serial

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., A WEEKLY DEALING WITH THE-DETECTION Of CRIME issue d W eekly. By Subscript ion S2so p e r y ear. Entered as Sec ond Class Matter ar /'(ew Y ork P vst Offi ce by STREET & SMITH, 2.:8 U'lfliam St .. N. Y. No. 50. Price, Five Cents" ".JESSE .JAMES, I STAKE MY HONOR; YES, MY LIF!l:, IF NEED BE, FOR THE RANSOM YOU DKMANLJ TO YOUR HEVKNGE AGAINST MY FATH.b:H! y WILL YO'C ACCEPT THE TEHMS?" CRIED THE BEAUTIFUL GIRL.

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e55C A DfALlftG WITH THt DETECTIOff Of CRIME . Issued Weekly. By Subsc 1 1ptign 12.so per year. E11tered as Second Class lffatter at tlte N. Y. Post Office, by STREET & SMITH, 2J8 Wil/lilm St., N. Y . E nt
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2 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. up from the mining camps below a t his unexpected escape. But only-for an instant did the horse remain pulled back on its haunches. The horseman wheeled, rode back a distance, and once m ore dashed forward toward the mountain rift. siJence like death reigned in the camps below at this desperate act, and all eyes were upon the darin g horseman. They saw him crouch low ,in hj s saddle, his rem gra_ sped well in hand, and then sink the spurs deep into the flank s of hi s splend id blood-red bay. One s econd of suspense and the noble brute rose to the mighty le ap, and seemed suspended in the air ab.a v e the chasm. Then he came down upon the further side, dropped his knees, reco vered him self and sped on, while the yells of the admiring miners made the mountains ec170 and re-echo again. Down the steep, \ vinding trail he came, and dashed into foe cam p at the same t e rrifi c rate. "Men. I am here to warn you of clanger, for the renegade chief \t\f olf, and his outlaws are riding to ward ) our camps to r a id you. "Arm q u ick l y and go to the pass in the mountains and ambush them. "It i s ju s t three mile s from here, and you ha v e one hour to get there!" All was at once exciteo1ent for t he \ Volf, rene gade white man and lead e r of outlaws and Indians, \.\, as a terror in the land. But a vo ic e called out: "vVho i s you, pard, and where from?" "It matters not now who I am, or where from. Find that o u t afterward." "Maybe yo u is \;\ T olf's spy a nd when we leave camp one way he'll come iii t'other way .'' A silence followed the words for the spea ker was a man but too well known in camp. He was Dick D e mond, a de sperado, a bully, who answered to t he ni ckname o f Deadly Hanel, for when h e drew gun on a man sucl
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THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIES., hours, and then dash down upon the camps by the valley trails. The order was given to camp on the trail, and just then came the ringing command: "Fire!" Rifles and revolvers out from among the undergrowth, and ff'om behind rocks and trees. Robbers and mustangs bit the dust. To surprise had been wolf's intention, and when .:urprised, he could but retreat, for the volley told him that he had a large force to deal with, and perhaps he had been flanked. So, in wild confusion, the renegades turned and fled, carrying off their \Vounclecl and a few dead, and, mounting,, the miners gave hot chase. But night soon feli upon the scene, and the larger force of miners returned to Last Chance, as the mining camps had been named by the first miners who had visited the valley. The stranger had gone with Landlord Sampson to the Hash House, and been given the best room in that establishment, and as he entered the social hall later on that night he was greeted with three rousing cheers followed by the words: "Is you lookin' fer me, pard, fer I is jist starvin' to eat them words o mine you was goin' ter feed me on?'' The speaker w a s Deadly Hanel, and he held a revolver covering the heart of the stranger. CHAPTER II. LAST CHANCE. Last Chan c e \Yas a mining camp of the toughest kind. It had not "panned out" in sufficient quantities to set people wild, but the miners that worked got a handsome sum for their labor, and business was al ways brisk. There were other camps clown the valley, but Last Chance was the center of attraction, and was noted for its half-dozen good stores, blacksmith shop and "hotel," which last was kept by Sampson. He had won the name of "Gold Grip Sampson," becau s e all he took hold of made money for him, and he had, with a very proper appreciation of his estab lishment, bestowed upon it the name of Hash House. Sampson had come vVest to make a fortune, and his daughter, Ella, a beautiful young girl of eighteen, had later come out to Last Chance to make it her home also. The Has h House, under her influence, was much better than it otherwise would have l>een, and there was not a man in camp that did not worship Ella Sampson. Back on the hillside from the hotel she and her father had their cabin home of four rooms,' and no one dared intrude there. Each clay she was wont to receive wild flowers, specimens of gold du s t and "ore, and many other little s ouvenirs the miners picked up in mountains. She knew every mine, and was wont to ride alone often through the mountains and valleys". Her father h a d told her of the stranger's arrival, and hinted that Deadly Hanel intended to make trouble for him he feared. That ni ght Ella had look e d 111 through the wm 'clow, when the stranger went in to supper, and she saw a man, straight as a soldier, and with the bearing of one. He had a long mustache, and his face was one to see and remember. "How handsome! who can he be?" s o murmured pretty Ella Sampson, as she stood gaz ing as thoug h the man had touched her heart. So far it had be e n fancy free though many feared that handsome Deadly Hand would some clay carry out his threat to make her his wife. Last Chance was certainly a lawles s place. There was not a week that several men clicl. not "die with their boots on and gambling and drinking s eemed to be really the indu s trie s of the camp s The "Live and Let Live Saloon" was the favorite

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THE JESSE Jf\MES STORIES. rendezvous in the valley, and Boss Sampson was the proprietor of it also. It was a gambling den and drinking saloon com bined, and would acoommodate a couple of hundred people at a time. The bar was built of logs, arn:l had no opening on the saloon side, so that it looked like a miniature fort, and there were exits by means of the cellar, so that if besieged the "gin-slingers," as the bartenders wece called, could make a quick and safe retreat. This was Sampson' s idea, and he kept a perfect arsenal behind the bar ready for use, while he never employed an attendant who was not "full of sand," "on the s"l1oot" and ready to "chip in" wheri called on. And Gold Grip's orders to his men were explicit: "Don't be bullied, and put every man out who makes trouble. If you think he may feel offended at beipg kill him first." advice he gave, and set the example himself, so that even the desperadoes of Last Chance knew that this Live and Le. t Live Saloon was not the place in which to bully the landlord. There were. other "hotels" and other saloons in Last Chance, but the establishments of which Gold Grip Sampson was the "boss" had the call on popu larity and style. The Hash House was not a mean place either, for its rooms, though small ; were clean, and a cot bed was in each one, with the brook outside for a wash basin. Every miner was expe.cted to furnish his own blankets and towels, but the hotel furnished a oot, knives, forks and dishes, with plenty of substantial fo;cl, for them was no cook at "Sampson's." There were some rooms furnished for strangers, as there wa s a weekl y stage in and out of the place that sometimes carried "tenderfeet from the East." One of these rooms had been assigned to the stranger, and he found that it was by no means un C0mfortable. His w o rldly posse s sions he had with him in a horse, saddle, bridle, weapons and a pair of well filled saddle-bags. He unpacked his things as though he had come to stay, and made his room look quite cozy, while upon the shelf under the small mirror he placed a few toilet articles, a rfizor and cup, comb, brush and tooth-brush, and some towels. Having arranged his with much care, he went to supper, which had been delayed for the return of the miners from their attack on the red skins He ,ate heartily, lighted a cigar and strolled into the saloon, to be greeted by the cheers of those present and the words of Deadly Hanel. Ella Sampson had, after seeing him at the supper table, gone into the office and iooked at the register. She saw there simply the following: J. JAMES, MISSOURI. It told her noth!ng more than that he was an American, and the writi:-1g was almost delicate enough to have been written by a feminine hand. Then Ella had gone along the path toward her own quarters, which led her by the open windows of the Live and Let Live Saloon. Suddenly, she halted, for the words of Deadly Hanel came to ears. As the desperado spoke he had covered the stranger \Nith his revolver. But the one thus under the revolver's muzzle did not flinch as he turned and faced the desperado amid a breathless silence, speaking: "I told you, sir I would make you eat your words. I have prov en that I spoke the truth, and, if you were a true man, you would retract your insult upon n1e." 'Tm a true man, and yet I retracts nothin'. "You was to make me eat my words so just do so, pard." It was evident to all that Deadly Hanel had chosen his position with a view to trouble. His back was to a window that was open, and he

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. THE JESSE Ji\MES STORIESo I faced his man and the crowd, in the saloon, so could' see every rnoYement. He was a splendid-looking fellow, strong as a lion, quick as a panther, and handsome, though ignorant. He dressed better than any miner in camp, oiled his hair and beard and wore a white shirt every Sun dal" He was a deadly shot, a desperate hand with the knife and besides. his great strength made him feared by all. There was no one in the camp who dared to cross him. He certainly felt that no one would dare do so now, where it was a fair fight between him s elf ancl the stranger. ''I did not .expect to face a coward, so you drew on me before I saw yo-u, and I am at your mercy; but, if you will fight me a fair duel, I will meet you now with any weapons you may select." In t.he hush that was upon the room, every word of the strange r was distinctly heard, and a number of voices echoed the cry of one man: "That' s fair and squar', Dick. "This is my fight. parcls, not your'n, so don t chip in on my game. "This fine pilgrim said as how he meant to make me take back what I said and so I t e lls him to jist draw and toss me a bul'.e t ter chaw on as a kind o' appetiz e r to them words I has got ter eat ''Draw, stranger. and sail in.'' There wa s 11ot a man present 11 h o did not know that if the stranger made tile slightest movement toward drawin g a weapon, he would fall dead that in stant in his tracks, for Deadly Hand was not the man to miss his aim. CHAPTER III. A RESCUER. Not a muscle of the stranger's"face moved, as he stood there facing the muzzle of Deadly Hand's revolver. He showed not the slightes t sign of fear. If he knew, and he could not but know tha'\ the bully meant to kill him he did not show that he feared death. Not an appealing look did he turn toward the mmers . He was a stranger there in the midst of men whose cabins he had saved from the torch of the redskins whose gold-the result of hard toil-he had kept them from being robbed of, and whose lives in fact he had sayed, and yet no one seemed to be his friend If he had a friend there, that one was afrai d to spring to his side and face the feared and .desperate Deadly Hanel. But the stranger made i10 appeal; he did not flinch; he simply looked into the muzzle of the re volver as though deciding just what he would do . A handsome pair of pearl-handled re v olvers, silver mounted, were in his belt, along with a long, ugly looking knife. His lips were ciosed over a cigar and blue curls of smoke went upward, showing that he smoked leis: urely, in spite of his clanger. "He's cool as ice, s aid one in a whispe r. "Yes, he's grit to the bone." "Got sand to throw to ther wind s ." "Looks as tho' he were takin' Dick s pictur'." "He s dead, sartin ef he winks. ''V./ e ought er call a halt, pards." "We' cl g it hot lead if we did." Such were the whispered words that went around, yet were hardly heard. "Does yer throw yer hands up strang er and back down, for I hain t standin' here to be photo graphed?" "Up with your hands, Dick Demond, or I'll kill you!" and with thes e ringing words, Ella Sampson leaped through tl1c window her revolver l eveled at the desperado, and her face pale and determined. All in Last Chance knew that Ella Sampson could hit "dead center," every time. She was noted, too, for her reckless riding, as well as her use of revol ver and rifle, for she was wont ofte'n to supply the Hash House table with game.

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'II -, 6 THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIES. She had once leveled a revolver at a miner who was impudent to her and made him beg he9 pardon, so it was known that she was not one to trifle with. Dick D:mond ioved her despe.-ately, and he 11,;td vowed to himself if s he did not marry him, she should never become the wife of any other man. Ella rather liked the bold fellow, but she did not lo ve him and yet her mariner led him to believe that she did Now, to see her suddenly spring in through the window and cover him with a revol ver, almost wholly unnerved him. Seeing her do what not one in the crowd dared do, the broke forth in a yell, which added to Deadly Hand's oanfusion. with_your hands, I say; I will stand no non sense!" repeated the girl. "What does yer want, Ella?" "Jtist 'what I-'say." .. "You has no right to chip in here." "I have a right, when you take a man at a disadva ntage, and have not the manhood in you to acknowledge you were wrong, after his warning saved us all, as it did." "He was going to make me eat my words, he said ." "He gave yo u the chance to be g his pardon." I beg no mai1's pardon." "Then that shows the brute in your nature! Up with your hands, I say!" I won't." "So help me, God, I'll kill you, Dick Demond, if you do not obey." All knew that she meant just what she said. "Permit me to arrange this affair," and Jam es stepped forward. "That man must first obey me; then you can have your say sir," and Ella stepped nearer the desperado, while the stranger bowed politely and stood still, yet did not take advantage of the situation to draw a weapon. "The girl will kill you, Dick, so you had better f I obey, as you would if a man col.manded you to," warned Landlord Sampson, now coming forward, for one of I.is men had gone to call him. "I will kill ;rou, Dick if you do not obey! Up with your h;:,nds I s;:.,y !'' an'. Ella's revolver co vered the head of the desperado, while a 1>ilence reig\ 1ed in the saloon. "Well, I does it, but that pilgrim will find I hain't done with him yet." A perfect yell greeted these words of the desperado. He had yielded, and to a girl-for his hands went quickly above his head. Then Ella said : "Dick Demond, you may find that the stranger is not done with you, but there is to be no now, in my presence, or I will chip in again. "Now, sir, what were you going to say?" and, lowering her weapon, she turned toward the stranger. He bowed in a courtly way, and said: "Permit me, young lady to thank you for helping me out of an ugly scrape and to congratulate you upon your nerve. I did not wish to begin m y life in Last Chance by getting into trouble, but that bully has forced it upon me "I was coming here to seek a home, when I from a .hiding-place heard the plot of the redskins to surprise Last Chance; so I rode hither with all speed to warn you. "Now, let me arrange with this man," and the stranger turned to Dick Demond. His words had been heard by all and were well received. It was evident that he had made a good impress ion and whether he could hold it depended entire ly upon how he dealt with the desperado mm er. Not a soul present had blamed him for not attempting to draw a weapon when under the muzzle of Dea dly Hand's revolver, and certainly he had met the danger with marked coolness and fearlessness. His plan of meeting the redskins had proved sue-

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THE JESSE Jt\MES STORIESo a .nd his taking a leap on horseback which no man in Last Chance had looked upon as possible, had shown that he possessed man-elous nerve. He was a hanclsome fellow, looked the gentleman, was c ourtly in his manne r s allC! possessed a softness of that was womanly in it s way, and yet the1:e was known to be a heart of iron beneath the Yehet exterio r. Now every eye was upon him, while Deadly Hanel faced him with a look of intensest hatred on every feature. He hacl sought to bully the stranger from the st;1rt, :lnd thus add new lal.1rel s to his name a s a des perate character, ancl that he had been humiliated throug h him b y Ella had made him almost clemon likc in hi s f m y. The fact that Ella Sampson had saved the stranger from hi s deathshot infuriated him, and he intended that it should be a fight to the bitter end between them ; ,either that, or the stranger would have to fly ignominiously out of the camps. H e must rede e m his character of haYing been out hraYerl b y a woman, and so he turned to hear what hi s foe h a d t o say. CHAPTER IV. T H E STRANGER. \i\' i thont any show of anger, excitement, or a de sire to curry fayor, t h e stran("Cr tnrned to Deacli y .I 0 > .. Harn\. H i s words were not spoken in the l oud tone of the bra\ado, but softly, and yet all heard them, his utterc:ncc was so di stinct. "Yonr name is Dick Demond, I bclic\ c for so I think this l a d y called yon?'' .Yas. and it arc Deadly Hand, too, and I guess the boys chris tined me becaus e they know"d what I c u"d do. ''Doubtless they did. l\fr. Dick Demond, of the Deadly Hand, for horclcrmen generally know what they arc about," was the cool r ejoinder. ''\\"hat mi g h t be your name, pilgrim?" "?vfy :nrne is Jame s a :1u I arn from Missouri-."' '.'Got too hot ior you thar ? ' 'y cs. I like this climate better; but let n s n .ot waste wotls, hut come t o busin ess. " I are your man. be it revolver, rifle o r k nife!" ''Do you gamble, Nii stcr Hanel?'" I docs, a11d I plays as I s ]10ots--to win.1 "Ah! I am glad to hear it, for I am a "Now, be yer? V J all I are the trump keerc l o' this pack, hain' t I pards ?" _'\ general a ssent was .given to this, which, b eing interpreted, was to the effect that Deadly Hand' was the "boss player" in Last Chance. To this many present could: testify from sad experience. In trnth there were many who believed that the bull)' played a false game, so regular vvere his wm nmgs. .\ I have a game to propose with you, then," re-' sumecl the stranger. \i\Te can make i t to suit the game. of cards, for 1 propose to play you for your life or 1 .nine." "Ther devil!" Deadly Hand uttered the exclamation \\"it h great vehemence, while all now grew silent with the int e nse interes t of the situation. I will tell you what we will do. '"Her e is my rc\1olve r It i s loaded. ,I'll put it on 1 :1is table, and along w ith it one, Jhousand dollars to a dd in terest to the game; then we play one game to win, or bes t two in three. or bes t three in five, just as you a11cl the w inner takes the stakes." "The revolver and the money?' "Yes: and the principa l stake." "A.nd what are that?" a sked Deadl y Hanel, with grcrning interest. "The life of the loser!" was the .co?! response of the man from Missouri. "Does yer tha t ther loser o' ther gam e loses life?" "That is it e xactly." \i\Tho shoots him?"

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8 THE JESSE JAMES. STORIES. "The winner, of c ourse." .. Durnation !" It was evident from the exclamation of Deadly Hand that he did not like the a,.rrangement. "vVhy can't we draw and hev it out?" "Because you may be a bad shot and injure others, and, besides, anybody can enjoy a draw and fair fight; but yo11 pride yourself upon your i1erve and your card playing, and I tell you I am a gambler. "Then, too, our friends here would be better entertained by a game of lif e and death. Do you play, or do you back
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THE JESSE JAMES STOr.lESo "Not with those marked cards," was the quiet re ply of the man from Missouri, and he pointed to the pack which the desperado had placed upon the table. CHAPTER V. THE GAME. "Look a-heur, stranger, hain't yer gain' it jist a leetle too strong ter accuse me o' cheatin', fer ter play with marked cards are thet ?" ''Your cards are marked, and I'll prove it by showing the marks," was the reply. Deadly Hand turned slightly pale at this, for he saw Ella step forward to pick up the pack, and he quickly said: "\Vaal, I hain t no wish ter quarrel with a man who may be said ter be livin' his last few minutes o' life, so I'll git a new pack." you kindly procure a pack for us miss?'' and the stranger turned to Ella, who called to one of the ba1:tenders to give her a fresh pack of cards. Then she glanced earnestly over those she held in her hand, and wh1ch the stranger hacl sa id were marked. "I see no mark on these, sir," she sa id. ''It i s plain t-o me. Do you notice the lin es on the back, see!11 t o be m e rely fancy work, show by cxaminatipn just what card each one is." For a hill minute clicl Ella look, ere she dis cove red the puzzle, but suddenly i t flashed Lefore her eyes, and, with a, look at the miner,. she thrust the pack into her pocket. "If thar is any mark on them cards I don't know it, and you shan't hold me afore my pards as a thief, fer--" "Hands off that re;olver sir!" The words rang out stern and sharp now, and this time the stranger held the miner at his mercy. "The table is ready, sir. and I am waiting to play the game. Here is my gold, as you see, and my revolver lies with it." "And thar is my du s t and my weapon covers it," and Deadly Hanel placed his revolver upon his pil e of gold. The cards were handed to the Missourian by Ell a, and, glancing at them quickly, he said: "These are all right, miss. "Now, sir, do you understand the terms of the game?" "The one who wins gits the dtl s t and takes up his revolver and shoots t'other," said Dea. dly Hand; "The winner gets the gold, and the loser stands yonder against that window. "Miss Ella gives the word, if she will be SQ; kiricl, and the winner shoots the loser and pays burial ex penses. "I are willin', said Demond, but hi s voice was not so full of confidence as was u.sual with ; hjm: : His having to play with other cards than his own seemed to have discouraged him. ''I will not act, sir, but my father will,'"' said Ella, and the landlord stepped forward, when the stranger said: I give you my belt of arms, sir and this m 'a11 must also give up his. "Then plea se bold yonr re volver ready, and, should either c h e at, or the loser atteinpt to take his weapon from the table, be good enotlgh to kill him .' There was something so cool in the manner of the Niissourian that he vvon the admiration of all. H e was a but he had money, and, more, he had grit. He had been well mounted, thoroughly armed, and he had rendered a great service to all in the camps. He was handsome, fearless-faced, and had a certain fascination of manner about him that was irresistible 01; the other hand, Deadly was feared by all. He had ruled the camps by the fear he caused on ail sides, and here was a man he had tried to bully who would not submit to the desperclclo's iron rule. So all watched the result with the deepest of m-

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10' THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. teresr: there wa s a dread silence in the saloon ;is tlie arrangements for the game made. The Missouria11 took a seat quietly, lighted a fresh cigar, and handed the pac!< of cards to Dick Demond to shuttle. F11a Sampson stood by her father's side, pale but de !ermined. She had helped the man from Missouri out of an ugly scrape, and she intended to see the encl of it. LnHllard Sampson held the belts of each man on his arm, and. in his right hand was a revolver for u se, should the loser attenipt to break the compact. Those who knew the proprietor of the Hash House were well aware that he would use it if need be. .The c1;ovy d, silent an .cl earnest, gathered around, a11d the. game was begun under a suspense that was painful. It was .to b.e one game, for so it had been decided, -... '" \ .,. and the looJ
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TJ-JE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 11 CHAPTER VI. MARKED FOR LIFE. "I are r eady ter die, ef you is ready ter do ther killin', pard," was the plucky response of Deadly Hand, as he faced his foe, revolver in hand. The Missourian glanced at him and then ati Ella. He saw that the face of the latter was pale, and he stepped toward her and whispered something which no one else heard. At his words her face flushed, and then, stepping back to his position, he raised his revolver and fired quick as a flash. Deadly Hand started at the shot, but did not fall. Then he called out, in a voice full of sav _age re-venge: Missed me, by Heaven! Now, it's my chip in!" "Hold!" The command of the Missourian caused the hum of voices to cease and the excitement was over in a!1 instant. "I did not miss you, but I did not want to kill you, so I branded you with my mark, Deadly Hanel, for I sent my bullet through your left ear." The desperado raised his hand to his ear. It was bloodstained. He had felt the sting of the bullet, and felt that it clipped him, but meant to say nothing about it, that he might return the s hot. All now saw that there was a clean-cut, round hole in the left ear of Deadly Hand. His face paled with fury, and a cheer at the marksmanship of the stranger broke from the lips of the crowd. Deadly Hand was livid now, and said, in a voice that quivered with passion: y er has branded me, has yer? "\i\T aal, one day yer'll git my brand on you, and jist book what I say fer it goes, ev'ry time. "Good-night, gents ," and taking his belt of arms from the landlord, the desp,era9o left the saloon. "You have made a deadly foe, sir," said the landlord, turning to the stranger, who responded: "I do not care, sir; but he should be thankful for his life. "Join me in a drink, all of you, for it .is my treat." This the crowd were most happy to do, and the liquor wa s placed before them, and his health was drank with a shout. Ella had slipped out of the saloon, but not until she had said to her father that the stranger had whis pered to her: "I will not kill him in your presence, but I shall mark his left ear." This proved his marvelous skill with a revolver, and he at once became a hero among the miners. They owed him a debt of gratitude,. and he had shown himself a "man from 'way back, as one of the miners expressed it, and so they were m ote than will ing to acknowledge him as a ruling spirit in their midst. Having treated to drinks and cigars all around, the stranger quietly left the saloon and sought' his own quarters. As he neared the door of his room, and was leaving the yard fronting the quarters of the landlord, he heard a voice call out: ":r>,fr. James!" He at once halted and doffed his sombrero as Ella Sampson glided up to him. "I wish to tell you that you want to be on your guard against Demond, for he will strike you in the dark some time. "I thank you and yet I do not wis h to kill him, for your sake." "And why for my sake?" "Is he not your accepted lover?" A ringing laugh followed, and then Ella said: "You think I l ove Dick Demond? "Why, I have yet to find the man I would "Ah, pardon, but I spared him because I thought you loved him. "He made his heiress, you know." "Oh, yes, and professes to love me; but, if my

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12. THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIES. father is now the keeper of a border tavern, we haYe I not always been poor. "My father was unfortunate in the East-unfortunate because his generous nature caused him to help all of his pretended friends, and he lost his fortune by their treachery. "He came here to seek a fortune, and when I finished s<;:hool I joined him in this wild land without his will." But she bade him good-night and went to her home. And he had gone to his room, and, with a cigar between his teeth, had thrown himself into an easy chair, and become lost in deepest meditation. At last he murmnrecl to himself: "vVell I have come under good auspices, and an' has turned out better than I expected. "I shall remain in Last Chance, f.or there is money to be made here. "And who that knew i11e would look for me here?" CHAPTER VII. DEAD-MAN'S DEN. From the night of the game of cards with Deadly Hand, the man from .Missouri became an object 01 curiosity and admiration in Last Chance. He had been discussed after leaving the salpon by one and all, and men had wondered how he would meet Dick Demond again. The latter' s pluck, when facing death, had still held -for him his power, though there were many who feared him who felt gfad to know that he had met one man who had proven his master. The next day at breakfast the stranger appeared as serene as a May morn. He had enjoyed his meal, lighted a cigar, and then took a walk about the camps. Everywhere he was spoken to with respect, a11d, on several occasions bluntly complimented upon his own nerve. He returned to the Hash House, and was met by Landlord Sampson, who greeted him pleasa11tly and asked: "Think of locating in Last Chance, sir?'' "Yes; I have come to stay.ii "Going to buy a claim, sir, or prospect for gold?" "I have come to make money, but not by the pur-chase of a claim 01 prospecting." "I fear you will find it hard to do in these Senor James." "No; for I made a thousand last night, you re-member?" ''Ah, yes-by gambling." "Yes, I am a professional man." 'vv e need them here, sir; or, at least anot.her dot tor, and a lawyer or two to decide legal cases that come up." "I belong to neither of those professions, Landlmd Sampson." "Ah! you hardly look like a preacher," and the landlord was trying all he could to place his man. He admired his striking appearance, was enthusiastic over his pluck and deadly aim, and liked him for the service he had rendered in saving the people of Last Chance from being plundered by the Indians. "No; I do not preach, I practice. "I am a gambler by profession, Mr. Sampson." Ah!" At last the landlord knew his guest. He was, he admitted, a gambler by profession. "I might have known it,'' he muttered to himself, and then aloud he said: "\Vell, sir, \Ve play heaYily here in Last Chance. and have some good men with cards." "Deadly Hand is about your best, I suppose?" ''Yes, he is the most dangerous man to pla y against, and he \Vins two out of every three games, and always wins ""'hen there is a large sum at stake, while, when he loses, the amount is small, and so people have thought he cheated.'' "He has cheated, sir, for I recognized the cards he had as having heen marked." "Yes, my daughter a11d myself looked over them this morning and sav. it for ourselves, but, until yotr showed her the clever mark on them, she would never have suspected it. ''But you think Dick knew of it?'' "Certainly, for he turned pale the very moment he saw I would not play with his cards. "\Vhere do you get your cards, landlord?" "Now I come to t'hink of it, I bought a lot from a man who was Deadly' Hand's friend." The gambler smiled in a significant way, and rl: p lied : 'That 1s proof ot his b'cing a cheat; but he will never use marked cards in a game with me. ; "Then you expect to pl
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THE JESSE Jf\MES STORIES 13. "Vlhy not, for I have no quarrel wi'th him, and do not see 'why he should have with me. "We played for a stake and he lost, and had I done so I' hardly believe he would have given me my life." "I am very sure of it." "He accused me of being treacherous, and I ineant that he should retract, or meet me, and so why should there be more trouble between us on the old score?'' "Demond is a devil, and I warn you against him. ''Thank you; but may I ask who owns the cab.in yonder on that rocky point?" and he motioned toward a jutting ridge that came out. into the valley a quarter-of-a-mile away. "I own it, s ir but no one will live there. "I bought it o f a man who was in hard luck, and sent the money for him to hi s motner, as he was hanged. ''Indeed?" "Yes; and the four owners before him were hanged, strange to say, so that it is known as Dead:iVIan 's Den." "That i s odd; but i s it for sale?" "Yes, bnt 110 one will buy it." "I will sir, so name your price." "My dear s ir, let me tell you that, though I am not superstitious, I re(1.1ly think that place a house of ill-omen. "The first owner was the man who discovered gold in this range, and named these camps Last Chance. "He was too lazy to work, so watched where others hid their gold, laid his plans, robbed them and fled "He was pursued and captured, and the miners hanged him to a piece of timber which projected over the point there where you see his cabin stands. "Then a stranger came alo .. g an.cl took the cabin, and he was hange d for horsestealing. "The third man was a fellow whom we all liked, but he proved to be a spy for the mounted robbers of the gold trail:>." "I have little knowledge of your country up here and its people." "Judging from has happened, you will not be 1011g in getting acquainted," was the laconic response. and then the stranger asked: "And the next owner of this cabin?" :\h, yes; he was a gambler, and was caught cheating with marked cards, so the boys took him out one night and hanged him. ''They did not mean to kill him, but to frighten him into givin g back all the money he had won by cheating." "And he would not?" ''Either he would not or the boys did not let him down soon enough, for he died. "And Number Five, for you said that was the number of men who had owned the cabin, I believe?" "Yes, there were five of them, and all ?" "And, more, they are all buried right by the cab.in, for the men of Last Chance are stlperstitious about_ burying a hanged man in the Hallelujah Roost, as \Ve ca II our gra vey arcl on the !iii!. "A fitting name for the cemetery, sure ly : ''But why was Number Five hanged?" ';He had been a road-agent, taking to a life of outlawry to get money to send home, he sa id arid one clay strnck it rich here in camp, so gave np h i s law ies::: !if e an: ; turned hones t. h e was recognized by Deadly Hand, who h;i_rl beecl robbed one clay on tlie Overland Coach by thi:> t\lall, and, though I did all in my power to save the poor fellow up he went. "He. gave me his money. He had laid by some thotlsands, and I wrote to hi s mother and sent it to her, t e lling her he had met with an accident that cansec1 his death. "Yes; such accidents are -frequent." was dry response, and then he added: '''vV ell Mr. Sampson, name your price fo r the cabin, graves and all, for I go there" to live : "Against all I can say, sir?" ''Yes; I han: no $Uperstitious dread." "\i\lill yo not accept it from me, sir, for you saved me heavy losses by the warning yon b1.-ought us?' "No, thank you, Mr. Sampson I never accept a fayor from any man, though I o\1 1 te your daughter the debt of my life. "I will buy the cabin, sir." "Then call it a coupl e of hundred, sir." "Here is the money," and the sum was counted, and the papers drawn up which made the man fr_oln Missouri the owner of the cabin known as Dead Man s Den. ... I !Ii

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14 .. THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIES. CHAPTER VIII. RECOGNIZED. Having made his purchase of a house, the Missourian strolled up to see it, going alone, although th e landlord had offered to accompany' him. He found it a well-built cabin with two rooms oi good size each containing a door and a window, and with a spacious fireplace in one. There was considera ble furniture of a rude kind in the cabin for each occupant had fallen heir to the belongings therein of the one who had dwelt there before him and he saw that he could make himself really very comfortable there. He meant to use it only as a clwelling-place, taking his meal s at the Hash House, and he sought men to make <;:ertain repairs and put up a cabin for his horses. The piace stood on a spur of a mountain range', and w a:; approached by a pa'th fr.o m the valley, anc.l no one cuu:cl come al ong the trail by day wh o was not s e en a long way off by the occupant, should he be ori 'the watch for him. There w a s a ledge leading along up the mountain range, 'but a dangerous path to travel to one who had not iron nerve, a s there were precipices at its side that would m a k e one dizzy to gaze over, unless he had a co ol head. At the sic)e o f t hi s cabin, under a tree, were five graves of more or less recent elate and at the he a d of each was a board c ontaining the b order name b y v v hich the man buried benea t h had been knqwn, and the d a te and reason for his s udden taking off A shed in front of the cabin was termed by courtes y a piazza and und e r this shelter was a .r ustic seat, on which the Misourian seated to g{lze upon the fiv e g::a v es not ten feet away which seemed to stand forth in b o ld relief as a warning to the latest i1ihabitant of Dead-Man' s Den. The view from the spur w a s particularly fine, for far up and down the valley the eye could roam, and beyond to the mountain range miles away. The river and camps were in full view with the Hash House rising below, and the neat home of L andlord Sampson and his daughter ne a r by. Half-a-mil e away; on a ridge, was Hallelujah Roost, and the number of vvhite headboards dotting the burying-ground showed that Last Chance had been j visited with an epidemic of bullet fever which had been fatal in most cases. A couple of weeks after his coming to Last Chance, the man from Mis souri had become thoroughly at home. He had moved into his home on the mountain spur, a,nd ha'( made himself comfortable there. He passed his time to suit him s elf, riding about the country by day, gambling by night, and almost invariably winning. He was generous, always treated the crowd, and never cared to play with a man of limited means. Whenever Deadly Hand played with him he named high stakes and other s drew out and left the two to gamble together, and the stranger seldom lost, though, sfrange to say, when the miner was in a game with others he was invariably the winner. He always dres sed with the greatest neatness, seeming to be as particular in having his costume look well in every-day life in a mining can.1p, as though he were in refined society. He was courteous to all, yet re s erved, and sought no friendships, and, to the delight of Deadly Hanel, did not seem to seek the society of Ella Sampson, or to curry favor with her father. Since her forcing him to obey her the night of the arrival of the man from Missouri in Last Chance, the miner had been more than ever devoted to the maiden, and she had, on the cc:mtrary been more re serv ed toward him. Still the desperado did not look upon the stranger, after the first few days of hi.s stay in the camps, as a rival to be feared, until he came s uddenly upon tvvo riding together along a mountain trail. Deadly Hand did not know that the meeting had been acidental, and he scowled as they passed, but received a polite bow in response. The stranger had met Ella but a few moments be fore, for he had seen her horse dashing along rider less and had skillfully caught him with his lariat, which he always had at his saddle horn. H e dreaded evil to the girl, but she called out to him a moment after, and he saw her standing over a deer which she had shot. ;,My horse played me a shabby trick in running off and I thank you for catching him. ''You thrmv a lasso like a Mexican, she said, as he rode up with her runaway horse, for she had seen him catch the animal.

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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. "Please help me \Yith my game. Be raised the deer in his strong arms, and threw it across the back of his horse, behind his saddle, and made it fast. Then he aided her to mount, and they rode together tow?-rd .Last Chance, to come suddenly upon Deadly Hand, who was also hunting among the hills, but on foot. "Diel you notice Dem9nd's scowl as vve passed?" "Yes. "That man means mischief, for he has been too pleasant since the night of hls affair with you!" "And with you, permit me to add, for I owe you my life." "I am riot sure of that, from what I saw you do, for, after all, you might have killed him, as you were watching him lil 0 e a hawk, and looking for a chance to draw your weapon." "You saw that, then)" "Oh, yes!" "I wished to i::atch him off his guard for a second." "And had you done so, he would have not n'ow been alive." "Perhaps. "I am sure of it for your aim is quick, and sure as death." "You have searching eyes, and tool} in the situation at a glance. "Oh, I knew Demond, and was sure he meant to kill you, and he is a dead shot; and a plucky fellow, too." . "He showed nerve that night, certainly; but my idea .is that had you not been present he would not have faced death as he did "Well, I am convinced that he means harm you, so I advise you to watch him as though he were your deadliest fo e ." "I arn always on my guard, Iviiss Ella; but I thank you, as there i s a very narrow 1)artition between life and death." ;;To thos e that lead the life that you do." "You mean :as a gambler, Miss Ella.?" "I mean as one whose life is always a deatlly dan man upon who.se head there is set a big price -in Missouri." "Please ex.plain., M1ss Ella," and the man did not change one expre.ssion .of his face at her words. "I know you, Jesse James, as an outlawa hunted man!" was the startling reply of the girl. .. CHAPTER IX. ELLA' S SECRET . The words of Ella Sampson were uttered in a low tone, but fell with startling distinctness up o n the ears of the man she accused of being an outlaw-in tru th, one whose name was spread through the Middle \!Vest, and who was none other than Jess e James. He did not flinch under the accusation. His face slightly changed color, and int9 his eyes came a sad expression, wont to dvvell there at when he was deepl y hy bitter memories . "Yes, I am Jesse J he said-"J esse J ari1es, the outlaw, a hunted man, and there is a big price upon my head, and you are entitled to it." I "F.or shame to make that remark o me: for do I betray the men about me? How manv are there in Last Chance vyho. are not l :unted n;ien i How many are there who have not been driven by <;>r t-)"1e accusations of guilt, to flee from their homes and, if the tn,1th were known,_ 1nany here have prices seJ upon their heads. Deadly Hanel is vvanted he came from, I am sure. ' "Not one man. here to-day, s a m y and several others I could name, answers. to hi s name. W\T d l h d .r ou a rec come ere an register m the tavern as J. James, of Missouri: "It was a fooiish act, for there. are people who drift out here now and then, and they often haye to say of the deeds of Jesse James. . ,;lYiany of tl1e may be but I k;1ow that many .must be false." The girl spoke rapidl y and' earnestl y, and the man listened in silence Then' he asked quietly: "And what do you know of Je_sse "We are from Missouri, and I was educated in St. Louis, so heard of you, and what a you were. "Now and then I also read a word in your behalf; that cruel circumsta11ces made you an outiaw "But when I came here to New Mexico to j'oin my father, I first visited a relative in Kansas, and had to go from the rai l way station fifty miles by stage. "The coach was held up on the way, and in broad daylight. "The leader of the roacl-agents was Jesse : .Jam es, and with him was his brother Frank.

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. -16 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. ';There \Yere five men on the coach, and four women, including myself. ;One of the men was a consumptive-a poor man, going to his old home to die. "Another of the men was a rich man of the towna skinflint broker who robbed every one he could, having money to lend, and forcing the poor to pay his nsu6o us demands "He had gone to the city to get money, and had it with him being too mean to pay expressage on it. "You, for you it was, Jes se James, vvanted this man and his money. ';It seemed he was an old of yours. \" "The night before yon had rifled his bank in the little town to which we were going, and took all the notes and mortgages he held of the poor people. "These you burned in the attack and raid, thus IJ paying the debts of many a poor man and woman. "The money t'he man had with him on the coach you took, thirty-nine thousand dollars, I have heard. "You put manacles upon him, and thus let him go, with the warning that if you heard of his grin.ding down and robbing poor people again, you would make him another visit. "Not another on the coacP. was robbed, and we woi11en were treated most courteously, while the consumptive was given, by both you and your brother, several hundred dollar s with which to go to Denver and try to get well. "Do you recall this scene, Jesse James, for it comes vividly upon me now, though then you wore a bea rd, and now you have only a mustache and goatee?" "Do you recall no more of that scene, Miss Ella?'' ;iy es, for one of the men was in irons, beitl.g taken hack to prison, from where he had escaped. "He was under a death sentence for murder, and condemned by circumstantial evidence alone. "He had an officer of the law in charge of him. "The prisoner you set free, gave him one of your extra horses to ride, and made the officer unlock the man's irons. "As you rode away, the officer fired upon you, and, turning in your saddle, you shot him through the heal,"t." "And the prisoner?" "It was said joined your band; but he was found later to have been innqcent, so you saved from the hangman an innocent man." "That man went with my pai:ty only until he could find a place of safety Miss Sampson. He aftenward studied for the Methodist ministry, and is now in charge of a small parish in Colorado." ''Well, I am glad to hear that; but when I mad the accounts of your holdup of our coach I could realize how stories against you were exaggerated, for they said that it was to free the prisoner-one of your gang-and to get Banker Skinner's money; also that you ruthlessly shot the officer for defending the women from insult, tortured the banker horribly until he gave up his money, and robbed every one of their last cent and even valueless jewelry." "Yes, I have been lied against! But, then, I have given cause for much that is true to be told.". "\Nhy did you come here?" "You heard Deadly Hand ask if it had not become too hot for me where I came from?' "Yes." "Well, it had. "I came out here to try a different life a while, and see if the public would not forget Jesse and Frank James." "That, at least, is to your credit. wfhank you! but am I to understand that you do not vvish the price on my head?" "Mr. James, I am not an officer of the law, nor do I seek after blood money. ;'If I did the latter, I could get rich right here in .Last Chance, where heads, nearly all of them, have a \ : alue other than that which their owners set upon Ihem !" J essc Jam es laughed, and said: "I thank you, Miss Sampson, and I feel that my secret is safe with you. "There will be others of my band even here, but not to rob and raid the people, for they will try to hunt for gold in an honest way, and the chances are for them to thus get it. But here we are at your home, and I thank you for your frank talk with me." He lifted her from the saddle placed the deer upon the piazza, raised his hat and was mounting when she came close to his horse, and said: "Beware of Deadly Hand!" CHAPTER X. ACCUSED. J e:sse James .rode to his lone cabin, lost m deep thought.

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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 17 There came before him visions of the wild life he had led as a hunted man. How he had been <,1.t first outlawed by those who were his neighbors in his boyhood days, on account of his having gone with the .South in its str\,\ggle. From that time he drifted into lawless acts and became a marked man. Owing to the great activity of .the officers of the law against him, he had dispersed his banc11 and New Mexico had been the home of refuge he sought. He had hoped to try another life there, and many of his comrades had pledged themselves to follow him there. But the hand of fate was upon him, even there, and he was recognized as Jesse James, the outlaw, and by a girl. \Voulcl not others also know him? Would not his name, J. James, as written clown upon the register of Hash House, now be connected with that of Jesse James? Once known, would not the price upon his head tempt those w)10 were no better. than he, perhaps with a price set upon. them, to try and 1-i1ake him a prisoner, or, at lea st, kill him? It would doubtless be the case; but he had ccme to stay, he thought, and there his comrades, drifting in singly, by twos or were to join him. Then he cotild decide what was best to be clone; but, meanwhile, he must take care of him self as best he could. Deadly I-hnd \Yas to be watched and foiled. He reached his cabin, put away his horse, and, sprucing up a littl e, went back to the hotel to supper. Deadly Hand was there talking to Ella Sampson. Jesse James raised his hat, and said, politely: "Hello, Deadly Hand, did you get any game this afternoon in your hunt?" "Yes, I all us gits game when I goes fer it; but, I sef'n you got soni.e game, too," was the hasty answer. '' !vltss Ella got the deer, not I." "Yes, yow got a cleat : too, and brought it home." Jesse James laughed and walked on into the sup-per-room, greatly to Ella's relief, for, in the humor in which Dick Demond then was, s he dreaded more trouble between the two men. After supper, Jesse James went for a walk, then dropped into the gambling saloon. Drinking and gambling were in full blast, and at one table Deadly Hand was playing cards with a man who was a stranger to Jesse James. He was a large fellow, of almost giant size, and had an evil face, which was all scarred over, as though he had been in some desperate knife encounters, or had been all shot up. In Las t Chance he was known as Satan Sam, and most of his time he spent out in the mountains hunting for gold, which, it was said he had found in quantities in brooks and gulleys, for he would not dig for it. \'Vhen he came into Last Chance, he drank heavily gambled for big money, and generally left a new grave up on Hallelujah Hill as a reminder that Satan Sam had been in the camps Deadly Dick played with him to a certain limit; but he was a man that he did not attempt :to bully. There was a large pile of dust upon the table and Satan Sam was winning when Jesse James entered: Ella Sampson had gone to the salo .on her father, and stood watching the sce ne when Jesse James entered, and walked up to the table at which Deadly Hanel and Satan Sam were playing. At her entrance all loud a nd profane1worcls ceased, and a change came over the s c ene, for all respected her. A number nodded to Jesse James and, as Satan Sam looked up a nd caught sight of 1-in., he seemed startled, the cards dropped from hi s hands and he half rose. But quickly he picked up his cards again, and said: "Well, Pa rel Deadly Hanel, I quits at the encl of this game." And with so little inJ\:!res t did he seem to play, though winning, that Deadly Hanel won the game. Quickly rising, he left the saloon, after going to the bar and clashing off a big drink to steady his undoubtedly shaken nerves. If Jesse James noticed the manner of Satan Sam, as Ella Sampson and of the miners did, he did not show it, but said: "Wish me to play with you, Deadly Hanel? "Yas, if you wants to play big." "Name your sum." "Two hundred as a starter." "All right," and the game was played and won by Deadly Hanel.

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' 18 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. Just then Satai1 Sam returned, and, walking up to the table, called out: "Pards, I has been hunting fer dust a long time; but I thinks I is rich, fer that man has a big price on '.is head-he are the outlaw, J e _sse Jam es!" In one instant, just how no one seemed to understand, Jesse Jam es made a quick leap, seized the huge desperado in his grasp before he could even draw a weapon, and, with an exhibition of strength that was marvelous, raised him bodily in his arms and hurled him into a oorner where h e fell with crash,ing force among chairs and tables. A w ild yell of delight broke from the crowd at this phenomenal show of strength from Jesse Jam es, ev.en Deadly Hand joining in the cheer. Springing to where the man hacl fallen, and noticing that he lay stunne.cl, Jesse J ames whipped out a revolver in .e;ach hand, and. facing the crowd. asked, in the calmest tones: ' \Vho else here wishes to accuse me of being an o tla w ? No one had that wish, or, at least, dared to show it. Even Deadly Hanel was silent, and Jesse Jam es turned to Landlord Sampson and said: "That man seems badly hurt, so please have him cared for a tmy expense. "Miss_ Ella, kindly pardon my causing trouble here. The n he turned to Deadly Hanel, and continued: "Shall we go on with the game?" "I is will in'; but, m y what strength you h as, for thar hain't ever been a _man in these camps c' u'cl do what you did with that two hundred and over human flesh and bones." Jesse James bowed at the compliment, to9k up the cards and did not even glance at Satan Sam as he was borne away, still uncons ci o us, or pretending to be. That game and the next Jesse James won, and -s Deadly Hand said: I guess you holds the luck, pare! so I quits." "All right," ancl h alf-an-hour later Jesse James left the saloon for his cabin, whil e Deadly Hand went to see Satan Sarr,,i at the hote l where he lay bruised ancl and \ Vith b;oker; bones as well. CHAPTER XI. TIIE DUEL. \Vhen, over h alf-an-hour later, Jesse James left the gambling-saloon, he lighted a cigar and \\"alkecl :Jeis urely along toward his cabin. As he left the saloon, he saw, for it was bright moonlight, a man's form dart _around the corner of the building and disappear in the darkness beyond toward his cabin. He went back into the timber a hundred yards and took a path-a rough one-that would bring him up in the rear o f his cabin. He crept as silently as an Indian to the shed in the rear of the cabin, where he kept his horse, and there waited t o look about him. He felt no\\" that whoever the one h e had seen might prove to be_ he had not discerned his approach, for .a thicket had hidden him. But, whoever it was, doulltless he had but one. ob-ject-to kill him. That it was Satan Sam he could not belieYe, for that bully had been too bacliy hurt to be out, and the doctor of Last h a d that the clesperaclo wottlcl be l a id up for weeks. His arm was out of his collar bone, two of hi s ril;ls a11cl a finger had been l::iroken in his flight over chairs, benches and the floor. not to speak of the other bruises and a few c uts. Deadly Hanel had left the salbon all of half-an-hour before Jess e Jam es had, and he was none too good t o play assassin. From the shed Jess e James crept to the door of the cabi' n. No one was the1 : e He glanced arnund the other cor:lC:r. There stood the m a n in the shadow, jus t beyond the corner, and with his rifle in hancl. He was for Jesse.James to return hon1e and he was as patient as an Indian. Ther e was no doubt as to who he was. It was D eadly Hanel, for that could be seen in the shadow. Jesse James held his revolver i n his hand. He looked on, protecting himself by the near corner, and called out: "Move and you are a dead man, Deadly Hand!" Found in the act, the desperado. was startled, a11d: so badly so that he dropped the rifle he held.

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L THE JESSE Jf\MES STORIES. vVith a bound Jesse James was upon him, and he called out: "Now, hands up!" ":Pard, I came to see you, and this hain't no way ter treat a visitor." "It is the way to treat one who comes as you do, and the weap o ns were taken from his belt. The rifle was left lying where it had fallen, and the words came, sternly: "Now, march for the t avern." ''Why fer? " Go I say if you want mercy shown you." Deadly Hanel ob ey ed a nd in ten minutes the two entered the saloon. A hush fell upon the crowd at the surprising sight of Deadly Hanel marching in with Jesse James at his back. "Parcls all, I found this man lying in wait around the corner of my cabin t o kill me. ''He held his riAe, which fell from his hands as I caught him and now lie s on the ground by my cabin. ''I disarmed and brought him here, and did not kill him, as I should have clone for I \Vish to shoot no man in cold blood, and will give him a chance for his life. vVho will be my second?" A dozen answered. One of them-a stranger in Last Chance who had not been a quarter-of-an-hour in the saloon and stood talking to Landlord Samp son-stepped forward and said: ''I claim to be your second as an o '!cl fr iend of yours, Mr. James, and I was just going to look you up. "Saint Peter' s Ghost!'' cried Jesse James. "I am glad to see you pa rel, and accept your services; but rpy would-be as s a s sin here wants a second, as I shall j give him a chance for hi s life in a duel to be fought here, now, and with what weapons he may select." Several also offered their services to s erve Deadly Hanel but Landlord Sampson with a to hav ing no trickery, as he glanced at those who wished to serve desperado, said: "I will serve you, Dick, for nothing but a square fight shall be held in this saloon." The face of Deadly Hand had brightened when he heard that Jesse James \ V as going to give him a chance for his life There were others he would rather have serve him than Landlord Sampson, but he dared not say so. The strat1ger, whose hand Jesse Jam es had warmly grasped, was a striking-looking person, and looked fully able to hold his own, even in Last Chance camps He was joined by Landlord Sampson, and it was quickly decided that th.e two men s hould stand a cross the room, arnied with a revolver only an d at t he word, advance upon each other, firing as th e y did s o. Deadly Hanel wa s not one, however, to allow his foe to e s cape, if the re s ult went against him, and he called out: "Pards, I has had a talk wit h Sata n Sam, and he s ay s he knows this man as Jesse James, whose deeds o deviltry in the East is known in Last Chance. "Ef he calls in my chips jist see to it that he hangs right here, an' I'se gain' ter rest easy up yonder on Hallelujah Hill." A yell greeted these words from Deadly Hand' s backers, but Jess e Jam es smiled and said: "This gentleman knows me as I am pards, and you who are cro o ked had better not get an army officer upon your trail. "And I know Mr. James, fo.r I met him East. The fact that his name is the same as that of the outlaw's does not make him a criminal," and Landlord Samp son's daughter appeared upon the scene Furious at the stand Ella made for-thel m a n, Deadly Hand called out: "But Satan Sam s a ys when he left the mines two years ago with thous ands in gold dust, .and got paper money for it in Denver, the train was robbed by the Jesse James gang, a n d he lost all he had so had to come back to work up a n other fortune. "He s wa rs this man a re J ess e James, the man who robbed hm, and I b e lieve s him. "We han g a ss as si11s here in Last Chance, Deadh Dick, without trial and s o if you say more, I s :i_11l stop this duel in which Pard J a mes give s a chance for life, and see that y o u are strung up ., This threat of Landlord Sampson brought s ilence very quickly and the two m e n wer e then placed for the duel. It fell to the stranger, the se cond of Je. ss e J a mes to give the words and he counted, dis tin ctly: "One! two! three! fire! There was a double rep o rt, but one that was half a-second the quicke st. That shot, J ess e J a m es, who had not taken his

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20 THE JESSE JAMES STORIESo cigar from between his lips, had fired and Deadly Hand fell like a log. His bullet had cut throug h t h e sombrero worn by Jesse J a m es "He's not dead, for this kn!f e saved him! cried Landlord Sampson, taking a knife from Demond's waist pocket; but he acl.ded: "The bullet entered hi s body all the same." Jesse J a m es did not answer the speaker, but sai d to his second: "That was m y seco nd duel that man ; a double duel in fact. B ut come w ith me to my cabin, Frank." CHAPTER XII. AN U RGE N T MESSENGER Jesse James left the sa loon by the man who had hi s second in th e d u e l and whom he c alled Frank. If any of the crow d in the sa l oon, infl uc;1ced b y Deadly Hanel' charge, bac kin g up S atan Sam, that the n e wcomer t o Last Chan ce \\as in re a lity the great outl a w lead er, fel t like actio n against him. not o n e made an effort to acc u se h i m of it o r to stop him from goin g o u t. "To think J esse James wu d be s ich a durnecl fool a s to come he r e under 11is own name, i s too much fer eve n Satan Sam a n Deadl y Harld to f o r ce clown our throats," said a miner i n a l o ud vo i ce, a nd i t seeme; l t o expr ess t h e opinion of all. In t h e meantime Jesse J arnes and hi s compani o n wa lk ed o n t o w a rd the Dead Man' s Den cabin the home of the former, a nd in silence. The moon lighted th e ir w ay and they both s e e med deeply occupi e d with their own t houghts. Arrivin g at the cabin Jesse J a m es pick e d up the rifle o f Deadly Hand, a nd unl ock in g his door, the tw o went i n s id e ., Then, turning to his companion, J esse Jam es :gTa s ped hi s hand warmly, an d said: "Brother Frank, I am mig h ty g la d you h a ve A re you a l o ne?" "Here, yes; but t wo of the boys are camped back on the trail ;i doze n miles, waiting for us. "Wh y d idn t the y come with yo u ?" "Because I expected you t o go back with me. "No; Last C h ance i s a good enough place for me, Frank. But you are the first of the band who Iias come to me." "The others are waiting to he a r from you." "But I gav e the m full particulars, and--" "True; but after you left three of the men were captured--. "Ah! how? Surprised?" "Yes, by a number of officers who went in on them at night and got them." "And they are in prison?" "Two are: the third, Con Rogers was hanged The m o b tried him J uclge L ynch sat on the bench, and you kn ow no ti m e v rns l os t. The crowd would ha ve taken the others, only Judge Chace interfered a nd got them off to pris on." "Yes, to hang t h em later by process of law. Poor Con Rogers! I a m sorry h e met such a fate, and ye t as he linke c i his fate with mine he had to expect to die with hi s hoots on. Bt:1t those tw o men shall not die on the gallows Frank." "I kn ew t ha t yo u \\'Ottld say th a t, thou g h I told the men not to head for :.r ew Mexico bi..tt to remain in hiding until I c ame on \Yit h tw o comrades to s ee you." \i\Tho a r e the two men they captured?'' "Bob Youn g and A nd y Samuel s." ' By Heaven! but th e y s hall b e released, for they are t\\o of the best in th e b a nd and have saved m y life a do zen tim es o v er. You s h ow that you knO\\' me, Frank, w h e n you ref u s ed to let the men come and leave those two s plendi d f ellows in prison. '' I'll go back with yo u at once-to-night, if you are not too tired. ''I a m a nxious to return at o n ce and th e re i s n o time to l o se, fo r it will be a quick trial has ty se ntence to the gallows, and a sudden taking off." "You a r e ri g ht. "But where is your horse?" "At the tav e rn. "And mine i s here in m y s t ab l e for thi s i s the ranch I bought, and it is said to be h aunted by evil s pirits, for all who have live d here h ave been hanged, and their g r aves are right at the door." "/\ cheery place, I must say was Frank James' comment, looking around him and adding: "You see m to be comfortable h e re ." "I am, and ha ve seen n o spirits, sav e the rum sold at the saloon. "It is called Dead Man 's D e n and that fellow, Deadly Hanel ; tried to add to the graveyard here by killing me to-night."

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THE J ESSE JAMES "I am surprised that you did not send your bullet between his eyes, Jesse, and then there would have bee n n o doubt as to killing him." "I intended to; but when I took my s t and, a lamp was just h e hind him. on a level with hi s head; so, as i t blillded me. 1 had to ai m for the body. for I had no time to change. H i s k nife saved him.'' ''If it did, for the \\"Ound may have been fatal.'' "Gues s not, fo r he's a tough one; but some clay I'll kill hi:n. Now l e t me throw my traps together while you go to the Has h House and get your horse, for you h : w e to come b y h e r e ... 'I'll go at once ... "Get son1 c provisions fr o m Landlord Sampson. fo r it wi l l h e some clays before w e strike the railroad, and ask how Deadl y Hand is; a lso a s k abou t the bi g hrut e Sat a n Sam I h a d t o punish for speak ing the truth, for the fellow accus e d m e of being Jess e James,'' and both l a ughed. "And, Frank, take this note t o Landlord Samp son. ,,ho i s a mighty squ are fellow. and to be trus ted, \\b ile hi s daughter is true a s ste el and a s plucky as any m a n l e \ e r Sa\ \ .'' Sitting clO\rn to the rude t a ble Jes s e James wrote: Mv Dr:AR S.\.\I PSON :-The g e n tl e m a n wh o \\as m) s e co nd tonight brings m e urgent n ews t hat takes m e back t o my h om e immedi a t e ly Pleas e tak e charge o f my ca bin and e x pe ct m e b a c k wit hin si x w e ek s My farewell t o M is:; Ell a Sinc e r e l y, ]. ] A:VIES. lf a nything happe n,; t o me, lh'.: cabi n i s \Vithin ha!f-an-hom Frank J ames returned, a n d hi s brothe r was mounted an l l awaitin g him. "The l a n d lord ,i s hes luck to y o u J e ss e, an
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22 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. "All of twenty, perhaps more, though some are undoubtedly in hiding, and others working their way out to New Me xico," was t he answer. It was a winding, rough ride to the end of the river, where, in the shelter of some heavily-timbered hills, was a camp. There were sev eral campfires, completely: s heltered and about them we re men playing cards upon blankets spread upon the ground. Others were grouped here and there, wrapped in the ir blank.ets and fa s t asleep, while up a little valley a number of horses were staked out. A guard had been posted at the entrance to the nec k of land, but a signal was given and the horsemen passed on. As they rode up to the camp every man was upon his feet, his weapons ready. "Ho, men, g lad to see you." "The chief! the chief!" "Captain Jesse !" "Hurrah!" "Come back to save the boy s "Just like you "Now we can act!" These, and more, were the cries of w e lcome Jesse James re ceived, as he his brother, and the ir two comrades d ismounted at the camp fires Their horses ,,we re led off, a fire was brightened up, and a man began to get supper fo.r the trave ler s and all began to tell the s ituati o n as it stood then, a n d had been dis cu s sed by those who had acted as spies in the settl e m ents. "You see, Captain Jesse the p e ople think you and your men ha ve been driven out of the country en tirely and th a t the hanging o f Con Roger s and j a iling of the oth e r two boys have taught you a lesson. "It did to return, a nd I am here to rescue those tw o 1nen." "They are mighty clo s e l y g u arded." "That may be; but we must rescue by strategy if we cannot by force, b oy s, for these men mus t not hang. I was out in New Mexico but when Frank came and told me the bo ys were in jail I came back, and your bein g here proves tha t yo u all f ee l as I do. "\tVhen the y a re free we will go to New Mexico for a w hile and if there is a c hance for h o n es t work there, well a nd good; but if not, why, \\ e mus t live. N ow, I'll think ove r a plan o f rescue, and then we act." "Yes; there will be several m o re sp ie s in to-mor-row, and they may know of something to help us," said th e man who had been in charge of the camp in the absence of Jess e and Frank James. After so me further conversation, all wrapped themse lves in their blankets and so u ght re s t the men convinced that there v voulcl be s til'ring work ahead n ow that the chief had returned, for he was as true as s teel to his men. CHAPTER XIV. THE PLOT. The next morning sp ie s brought in various reports of great interest to Jess e Jam e s To all that they had t o say he listened in s ilence Frank jotting clown items here and there. \i\T ell, as I see the situation n o \\", Burns and Lampton are in the jail clo se ly guarded by over a dozen m.en. "The jail is as strong as a fort, and it would cost a dozen liv e s to storm it and perha ps then our efforts would be a failure. "Strategy mus t do what force cannot," said Jesse James. "Have you thought of what could b e d o ne, Jesse?" "Yes Frank." "\V ell? "They report Judge C hace i s at home." "Yes." "The judge mu s t be captured." "Ah!" "Yes, for Judge Chace i s running this whole affair. "He set the price o n my head; he has been our mos t v indicti ve foe, and all y ield to h i m. " I gues s yo u a re right." "I k now that I am." "How i s it to be clo n e t o catch him?" "To attack hi s home would be to bring the people o f the tovvn up th e r e again s t us, and also alarm, p e r haps harm his daughter, who once befriended me. "I was thinking of that." "Now, it wo uld be well to send a man in laborer's garb t o Judge C h ac e sta ting that the circuit judge, Chambers, I belie, e it i s i s at, say the Henty farm, o n his way to visit r e l atiYes, an d ask him to ride over t o see h im." "I think I see your pl an." "\Veil, this man can tell him he is one of Henty's

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THE JESSE JltMES S TORIESo workm'en, and the judg e will readil y go, fo r h e thinks. nothing o f a rid e of a dozen mil es. \ V e m ust tak e him 011 the road .'' 1 s ee; ancl t he!1 ? "l-Ic must meet o m demands t o s ave his life t hat i s a ll." .r\ ncl thos e d e m ands.?'' That he wri t e a n order at o n ce, fo r I s h a ll pape r and there to the jaile r o f the town to deliv e r the t\YO prison e r s t o the two officers sen t \Yith the l ette r and w h o a r c to be o u t m e n, t hose not k n own hc;r e, and 1 Yith t h e haclges o f detectives o n. " G r eat l" :.The lette r \\il l state t hat t h e p rison e r s a r e t o b e taken t o the j ai l at T h e B end. up the ri H r fo r safekeeping. as i t is known that Jesse J a mes b and i n t end to attempt a rescu e and all must be kept o n n ight and day. t o resi s t it, a s it not j ust when tl!e attack \\ i ll b e rnacle." T h i s strategy will win. "] t must and s h aJl ; and I kno\ Y tl : c men to g.:i, \\h i!e I \Jaye som e o f the j n d;e" s O\Yn stamped p a p e r. 'Splendid! s o g o and pi c k your m e n " Suppose the j u dge refu ses.?" "I-Tc mus! not; \rill not.'' "If docs?' ''Then I s h all hang him, as lie wou ld m e, was t l1c determine d reply of Jesse James. Two men \\ere sel e cted as t hose t o play the p a r t o f dctecti,e offic e r s, a11cl they w e r e cool. zealous fe l 10\YS. ju,;t the ones to carry out a dangerou s duty. Then a ;mm \\a s select e d for t h e o n e \\ h o \1as to p lay the part of Farmer Hen ty"s labor e r t o the mes sage of the pretended jucl ge t o J u clge .Ch a c e. \\iith t he::>e three men. a n d five more as a ids to a cco1npany t hem. F r ank and Jesse J a mes m buntecl t h e i r horse;,, ancl all rode b y n i g h t t o a hiding place not v e r y fa r fro m the to1rn. and npo n tl1c h i g hway leading t o the J -icnty farm. 'fh e whole r ick made b y n i ght, al l carry ing cook e d prO\i s ions ;dung. a s n o fires mus t h e buil t and t\H) horses w e r e taken as extras fo r the prisoners o f w\10 s e rescu e Jesse James was assure d. Thi.: r etreat was reach e d befor e day, and tli c m e n w ent into a fir e less camp. Soon afte r dawn the letter s upposed t o be written b y C h a mbers \\as sent b y the p retencle l l farm-hand to J ndg e Cl1acc T he othe r s arra nged to meet the m a n a n d the judge at a certai n s pot \\e)l suitecl fo r the capture. For t.lirec hours t hey waited. a n d a ll had begun t o fea r thaL t h e i r messenger h a d faile l to fi.nd t h e judge at home. o r h a d been s u ,,pected a nd taken, \ r h e n the lookout reported t ,, o horsemen co111ing-. T hey w e r e t h e jndge and t h e messenger. T he "ere p o s te
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I 'W 24 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. "You shall hang." "I can hang then." There was no sign of fear no weakening. The man meant just what he said. Jess e James saw this. "Men, get that rope o ver the limb and put the noose around hi s neck." I It w a s done. "Haul taut!" This was also done. .. "Now, Judge Chace, you have but five minutes to live unless you yield," sa id Jess e James, who began to fear that he was going to be thwarted, after all . by the great pluck of the man. I refu s e and may God have m e rcy e n my soul!" he said firmly repeating the w ords he had often uttered t o men whom he had doomed to the g allows. "Judg e Chace, y o u hav e five minutes to live," said e s se J a m e s and a s he uttered the words there came an unlo oked-for pers on upon the scene . CHAPTER XV. THE P R I C E OF LIF E. The n ewcomer wa s a w o m a n, or, rather, a young a nd b eautif ul girl. It w a s Cherrie C h a ce the o nl y chi ld of the judge, a n d t he ido l of hi s life. S h e h a d deci d ed wh e n he r st e p m other t o ld h e r h e r fa t h e r h a d gon e t o ricle to Ben t y farm, and r eturn w i t h him in the even i ng. Cornin g fa r clow n the road, s he had seen her fath e r, in the mi ds t o f a grQup of m e n turn from the hig hway into t he timber. She felt that s o m e t hing was wrong. She rode rapidly until s h e came to the timber, and, utterly fearle ss a s she s a w the party halted in the distance, s he di s m ounte d threw the skirt of h e r riding-habit over her arm, and approache d the spot unseen, t o hear the curt words of Jess e James. She had al s o been kidnaped b y tbe band, and had been trusted to go and get the ransom.demanded for her rele as e and she had done all s he had pledged her-J self to do. Knowing Jess e Jam es now as she did, she ap peared upon the scene to the utter amazement of all, and s aid in a voice that rang: "Jesse James, I stake m y honor, my life if need Le, for the ransom you demand to satiate your revenge against my father-;vill you accept the terms?" Rai sing his hat from his head, Jesse James replied courteously, yet firmly: "Miss Chase, this is no scene for you to look upon; but you are here, and perhaps can save your father's life. "Your w ords show that you believe my demand is for gold. "But you are mistaken. Your father holds two of my men pris oners, and a scratch of his pen will save them. I had left this part of the country, gone far away, and my men were going also; but one of my men was slain by a mob from your town, and two others taken. "I came back to rescue them. "Your father refu s es, and he was brave enough to def y my threat to hang him. "Now, how c a n you force him to yield. for, so help me Heaven, he shall hang if he does not free those n1en." Cherrie Chace listened to every word. That she understood the situation perfectly there wa s no doubt. 'Fathe r, it is your life against the live s of those two o u t la\\'s, so yield. " I kno w m y duty, a nd I will ne,e r yield ,'' w a s the s t e rn reply. Ch errie Ch a ce bit h e r lip s until the y almost bled. T l!en the l o vely fac e bri ghte ned. and sh e said: ''\Vlnt you carn: o t f o rc e m y fath e r to do, J es se James, I will d o in his place. " A n d t ha t i s?" "1VIy f ather kn o \YS tha t I have written letters for him and can imita t e hi s wr iting and signature. I will wri t e wh a t you \Yis h and it will accomplish the same encl "No, no, Cherrie, my de a r child, you shall not do so!" cried the judge. ''Fat her, this i s my. aff a ir now, and you are not to s a y a word." ' I accept you,r offer, Miss Chace." "But the terms, sir?" "My two men go as detective of-fi.cers to b rin g the prisoners from the jail, and when they are safe, and I ha v yours and your H : her s pledge to say nothing of this until to-morrow." "I give no such heinous pledge, sir, and--"

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t I THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 25 "Papa, I shall take the pledge for you." "No, it shail not be given." "Then you can go home and put the officers of the law upon the track of these men; but I w ill have thern ho1d me as a hostage against your doing so," said the girl. The judge fairly groaned, and was silent. "Now, Jesse James, we must understand each other." "Yes, miss." "I write an.order that you dictate." "Yes." "Two of your men, playing officers of the law, deliver it?" "Yes." "And bring the prisoners here to you?" "That is it." "Then my father and myself are free?" "Upon his pledge and yours not to betray my presence here until to-morrow morning." "I will give it." "He must also." ''I will not." ''Then, by Hea\ en. Judge Chace. your daughter will be held a prisoner until you pay me her ransom and the price I placed upon your head, for you are a very rich man, as I know. There was no doubting this threat, and, with the safety of his daughter at stake, the judge said, quickly: "I will give the pled ge." "The n all i s settied." 'Kot yet, Jess e Tames!" "Yes, Miss Chace.'' I ha \ e some terms to off e r.' 'Kame the m. ''That you pledge yours elf tha t you and your men, on the coming of thos e two prisoners. at once leave this country. and for one yea r, a t least, ne ver appear within the boJnds o f this Sta te.' "I will make the pledge. : Miss Chace ., "And that, in l ea ving, you do n o t a nother crime, or commit robbery in thi s part of t h e country." 'Unless we kill in self-defense, yes I n n k c the pledge." "".1\nd 1 accept it. "Now give me the paper you wish written. He did so, and, u sing a fallen tree as a table, s he wrote it and signed it, and it would have taken an expert to discover that her father had not done it. Taking it, the two men mounted their hors es, and, with the two extra animals in the lead, started for the town, five miles away. Jesse Jam es got his cold provisions, and Cherrie Chace ate a good lunch, though her was moody and silent. In just two hours the men came back at a gall o p. And with them were the two prisoners, and both 111 irons. Bpt the supposed detectives had files., and they were soon set free. "Captain Jesse, you have saved our necks!" said one of the men, with deep feeling, while the other dared not trust himself to speak. "YOU would have done as much for me, boys, wa s the answer, and, turning to Judge Chace, he continued: "I have a bad name, Judge Chase, and am a bad man, but I am human, and I never forget a friend or a foe. I have your pledge, and I know that you will keep it, for you showe
PAGE 27

,1 .... ,. l Only one more week, boys! ber that it's nearl y always the last r, you have a chan\:e. Don't mis s The contest w ill have a hot fini sh, and you \-.rant to help in it. Remeill round that decides a fight. As longas you get y c;.sr entrie s in !:dcrc May it. Bob Orr. (13y L Oweus, Texas. ) ''Bob Orr ne\er won the Latin co111petitiou fair, I know. H e rnnst J 1aye c h eated ,.;oJlle \\"a1. ' \\'eil h e i s a coward i f h e did lJ.at us, and I arn g oi n g to get even.' So spoke thr e e boys Sam :-Jicliols C harles H ardy a11cl Ho1rnrd Wilson, all aged about seventeei1 as they made their way ho:lle fro111 High ''I'll t ell you, b oy s how w e may g e t e1en," sai d Sa111. ''Vou b o y s b "ri1' 1 g Dob t o the gy1 ; 1 tui1.orro1y at recess, a nd I will get him t o put o n the glo;es 1'.itli 111e, am] I wiil fi-x him." All right ans 1\"erecl Ifordy and \\-ibon, a11d the y p arte d for the night. T h e foilowiug 11:orni !lg nt 1e c ea111 said i11 a lot;cl Yo ice: '' \ 'ou arc afraid to p11t the g Jo,es 011 with 111c Orr.' "I a111 not" afraid, but d o not c::ir e to box." repl e d Bob. r h y o u are a c o \rar d :rnd afr:iid '" Bob's face flu s h e d and h '.:: t:r<::n1blcd for an i : :::t : rnt lillt regaining his co mposm e replied: I will box you." The g loves were immediat e l y donned. a referee a n d time keeper selected, a11d the boys : :tefjpcd to Jlle center of the floor. "Time!" announced the referee, and both boys cla'ihed. Sam immedia tely lr.111ded a h a r d swing on B o b's fore h.eacl. Bob r etorte d with a hard right to the body. After much sparring the rouucl was over. As tb.e refere e :i111101111c e d t i m e for the .sernml r ouning for himself and mothe r he we11t to clrivi11g e 1 t t le. H e was tli e hardest :work ing lad i11 the city. So h e r e \\"e h ave him quietly doiug his work trndging and tramping aloug behiud the ,;t eers. But just as the s teer s \.ye: e crossing the ti;-ac k two of tilcm started o n a run. Alfred seeing the m a t once took after them, a1Ht a s lie passed u s a big negro sti1ck out his fciot alld tripped Alfr e d "ho fell h e a vily to the brick platform. Now this b i g 11egro was known to b e the best boxer I

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THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIES. 27 in the city, and his name was Chas. Bell, 'and he went by the name of ''Bell the Butter.'' When Alfred fell to the platform be got up and with an exclamation of auger turned upon Bell. Bell quickly struck at Al, aud then followed the greatest surprise that Bell ever went up against. When Bell strnck at Alfred he made a rush, at the same time, but Al was on bis guard and when Bell rushed at him be sidestepped in the most amaz:ng way, and crash! -.'.)ent his fist into Bell's face. Now, this was something most surpri::iing to both us boys and Bell. Before this Alfred woked to all of us as if he could not count three, but now we saw that Bell had met his match, for what followed completely changed our minds. The blow that Bell got made him curse and lliss like a savage beast. He straightened up and placed himself for a regular prize fight, and made away at Alfred with a terrible kuockout crasher, but Alfred easily parried the blow, and after that he was worse than a raging cyclone. He parried blow after blow, sidestepped, ducked, rushed and recoiled, smashed right and left-handers on the negro's face and body, which sometimes doubled him up. Half the time Bell could not tell which way to go. He tried in vain to laud a blow on Alfred. One of the negro's friends stepped up to help him when Alfred sidestepped from one of Bell's rushes and lauded him a crashing blow which I think is termed a knockout. The minute that Bell received it he fell like a log into the arms of his friend who bad stepped up to help him. The negro did not come to himself for five or ten minutes, but when he opened his eyes and saw Alfred standing there looking for more be said, with a shamefaced expression : "I guess I am licked," and with that he offered his baud to Alfred, and now when he sees him he treats the widow's son with respect. Round Cne-Then a Race. (By Jas. Ruzechka, Pa.) It was last Fourth of July, just about half-past five. The sun was hot as could be when our gang of fun makers had got tired of hooting and \Yere all lying around in the shade resting. Suddenly Audy Remor got up and said: ''What would be the matter with having a little fun with the gloves?" I said it would be a nice thing to make a prize fight of it for the championship of the village. Andy had already put on a pair of the gloves aud was tapping his friends lightly on the face, but never had any idea it would cause him to frighten them and that Le would be unable to get a foe to scrap tvith. I went to work, found a nice place for a ring, got a goc d clo.thesline, roped off the ring, marched Andy into it and I started to search in the crowd for a partner. It did not take long for me to find one. It was Bill Fry, about the same height as Andy, but slightly longer in reach. I brought him into the ring, put bis gloves 011 and told them to get in their corners and listen to me. I got out my watch and was ready for business. ''Time 1 I call e d. Both were up like a flash. Andy began the mill, laud i;;g a straight, sti!I punc!J on Bill's left eye. Bill was wild. Then he got on Andy somehow and was smashing right and left ou Andy's ribs and face, making scars of all kinds. Andy soon changed the programme. They clinched, striking each other in the face till they looked like busted pumpkins. Audy flew back from Bill. Then came a crash. Andy landed on Bill's face with hard punches till Bill s face could hardly be told from a red-painted carpet. Just then the fun began. Andy was all excited, threw off his gloves, leaped over the ropes and started out on a dead run for home. Bill, in order to get his revenge, started down after Audy and ran him to bis very steps. \Ve came following down after, and all the people in the village askiug questions. News sp!"ead like wildfire, and in a few hours the whole villllge knew of the fight. The next day Bill Fry was going about with a pair of blue eyes and six pieces of courtplaster on his face. Audy did not look so bad on the face, but -his sides were very sore for weeks. Morgan and the Champion. (By John Hodgest, Md.) About thirty years ago there lived in Kansas City a young man by the name of Frank Morgan. From his early boyhood Frank was very fond of boxing. He went to many fights, aud finally be resolved to become a boxer. Well trained, he challeuged the champion Edward Kelly. His trainer, Charles Davis', warned him of Kelly's long reach. Frank practiced until the time came for him to enter the ring. At first Kelly had the best of it. In the second round he struck Frank easily, then he made a vicious jab at Frank. Frank ducked it cle verly. Then he delivered an upper.cut. Kelly dropped like a log,, then lost his tem per and jumped up like a wild beast. He struck at Frank. Frank ducked the blow and tben began to pound him. Kelly was wild. He made a desperate rush for Frank. Frank stepped around the ring quickly to one side as Kelly rushed. 'l'hen Frank's fists shot out like cannonballs. Frank deliv e red blow after blow, until the end of the second round, wh e n he gave Kelly a blow o ver the heart which sent him reeling to bis corner. As the gong struck for the tliir
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. ll THE JESSE JAMES STORIES A good strong punch on the h e ad a nd one under the chin did the work. Then it was a good while before another undertook to do me. But at la.st a fellow weighi11g about ten to fifteen pounds m ore than I did d onned the gloves. We sparred for a time, a nd wer e tapping li ghtly when the gong rang for the fir s t round. The second was harder, but we were fr es h when the go n g sounded. At last thq. time came for the third round. He began smashing right an d l ef t. Being quick 011 m y f ee t I easily a voided them. \\'he n he bad almos t winded himse lf I started hammer and tongs for a while, but it was not long before I found an opening, a n d I took goo d advantage of it. I caught h i m in the wind and jus t kept following it up till he threw np hi s hands and staggered and was about to fall w h e n the y ca u ght him. He came around all right and went h o m e I boxed. two others that same eyeui n g On e who never boxed except t wo or three time s put the gloves OIL He took a punch o n the n o s e in the fir s t round a nd he quit. But the othe r f e llow p11t u p a goo d s tiff fight. We fought three rounds, and it was hammer a nd tongs all the t ime, and was decided a draw. I had won three battles a nd a draw that evening. Boxing on Common. ( By Burrell McCru m O hio. ) A s I was goiug do w n the stree t I saw a crowd on the common. I wen t to see what it was and fo11n d t wo boys boxing. One of the m prancing arou n d rushed the othe r and got a l ef t swing that sent h i m st. bout ha Ye \ r i t ne::.5Ccl or p n 1 ticipated i n. s :t down aii
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. t EXC2ITING ADVENTURES. You will always find here some thrilling story-perhaps a hairbreadth e s c a pe by sea, or a dare-devil advent ure on land. They aie from the pens of the best writers of exciting st o ries in the world veteran hunters, Indian fighters and b o rder men, scouts, soldiers and sailors-men whose lives have been spent in facing danger of all sorts in all parts of the wor ld. They have w ritten a collection of the finest stories that have ever been told. They knew how to do it, for they are thoroughly familiar with the s c enes they write about. A PROVIDENTIAL SPARK. Ev WILLIAM MURRAY GRAYDON If there i s any one incident in m y p a s t life tha t I par tiCul a rl y dislike t o d we ll 11po11, it i s the night I spent in a lonely m ountai n cabi n i11 Northwestern Ariz o n a I had left the little m ining settle11Jent of San R os a earl y that m orni n g to v i sit. a ranch b elongin g to a fri end of i11ine that lay scime t e n or twelve m i le s t o the we s t ward I h a d neve r b e e n there before. but fro m the direction s giv.en m e, I f elt sure I could fin d 'the plaoe without difficulty I had t o cross t w o or three m ountain spurs a nd pass throug h a c o u p l e of d ee p ravines t o r ea c h the high stretch of table J anel w h e r e the ranc h was lo cated. I a m fo n d of sport, a n d t o this mus t b e attributed the ach enture which p l a c e d m e in such peril. At sunris e I was four or fiv e mi l e s on m y way, and w h i l e riding throug h a deep wooded hol l o w I d i sco\ erecl b ear trac k s in a bit of s o f t groun d, whic h had the appearance of being fr esh. Here was a tempt a t ion t oo g r ea t t o b e resi s t e d and, hoping to obtain a s h o t a t Bruin, I follow e d the. trail u p the side o f t b e ridge. The footprints, which were t o o sma:l to b e tho s e o f a gri z z l y s o o n van is h e d, of course bnt I rode 011 o ve r the h illtop and dow n i nto the ravine beyond, e ager t o g e t a g li rnpse o f the anima l. But Bruin fail ed t o rnake his appearance, though I fol lo we d the h o ll ow for se v eral m i l e s, and fin a ll y c onclud ed tci gi\ e up the aucl s t rike fo r m y d e stination. l:lut h e r e I was con fron ted b y a p n zz li .ug prob lem . I h a d passed se v e rnl int e r secting rav in es b n my way, and now I was ntte r l y a t a Joss w hi c h o ne t o take. I made a spe e d y choi ce however for there w a s no time t o J o s e in h esitati o n a nd rode b r is k l y o n for t n o or three hours. But n o ne of the l a n d m arks w h ich I had b e e n warned t o look fo r a p p e a r e d a n d I h ad to admit t ha t I \ \ as l o s t. It w a s n o w a bout four o clo c k i n the afte rnoo11, a n d the s etting sun s h owed t b a t I h ad b ee n trave li n g in the proper direc t i o n -i11 the g e n eral se n s e o f the word-but whethe r the ranc h wris c l o s e o r n o t, I had not the remotest id e a S o m e d i s t a n ce a h e a d I c o u ld detect tl:e SO lllld of running s o I c o n cl ud e d to s lake my t hirst a n d the n strike for t he highes t p.oiut of gron n d t o b e fou nd, w h e r e I c ould obtain a v i e w of the c ollntry Iu a I rnw the w a t e r s pa r d i n g at the botto m o f the r a vine, a ud, a s I rod e down t o the s p o t a star t ling a n d unpleasant sight m e t my e y e s Two men, an evil-face d M exican, and an Apache In dian, were sitting by the side of a great rock. Their h orses were tie d to s a pling s a fe w fe e t away, and their arms, I noted with r e li ef, w ere l y it)g o n the ground almost e qually di s t ant. The surprise w a s mutual, for the mossy path h a d muffled the s ound of my horse's h o ofs I recog ni z ed both ins t antly. The M e xican was Luiz Castro, a man who b o r e b a d name among the settle m ents and h is companio n was Blueskin-s o c a lled from a c o u p l e o f ugly s ca rs o n his cheek-and a very ba d In dian indee d The Apache had b een driven from his trib e for some m is d emea n o r and for sever a l ye ars h e and the M e xican h ad b ee n inseparab le c o m panio n s a ve r y o d d fri end ship, to say the l east. I conclude d not t o s t o p for a drink at tha t s pring. "Ca n you t e ll me the way to Block' s Rauch?" I in quired res p e c t f ull y The Apache l oo k e d a t m e sto li d ly, bnt Castro quickly repli e d : 'Si senor, s trai ght ahead through yonder ravine. You can' t mis s it." I thanke d him, and 11oddi n g briefly rode on. The ravine r eferre d to was jus t a h ea d and I had gone a mile or more whe n the s uspicion sudde nl y oc curre d to me that Cast ro m ight have misdirec t ed m e fo r s o m e evil purp o se. I carrie d gnite a sum o f money, which I d id not d e sire t o lo se, and as rapid l y a s poss ible I rode on until a sudd e n g l oo m warne d m e tha t darkne s s w a s a t h and. The ravi n e showed n o sig11s o f t errniuating, and my suspicion b e c am e :i c erta iuty. The t wo s c ou u d r e ls ha d g u id e d me to this l o n ely spot with the inte n t i on u o doubt, of w aylaying and s h ooting me. The y were quite c a p a bl e of such a d ee d I well kne w. I shivered a t the thought, and, taking a has t y glance b ehind, pttt spurs t o llly musta n g and trotte d ahead as rapi d l y a 3 the n arrow unce r tain path would allow. Iu fire minutes the ravi11e wide ned a n d I s a w a small cl e a ri11g jus t ahead, i n the ce11te r o f w h ich was a rude Jog ca bin I rod e ea g e rl y to the door and w a s di sap p ointed t o fiucl i t e m p t y. Sonie 1 o nel y miner, perhaps, h a d once li ve d the r e until h e eithe r m e t a violent death or abandoned the p l ace in sea r c h of a bette r claim. It was now qui t e d u s k and I rea li ze d the hopele s snes s of p roceeding furthe r t\;at night.

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ao -THE JESSE J/\MES STORIES. The ravine narrowed again just ahead and the steep ridges on each side forbade any attempt at climbing. My mind was made up in an instant. Here I must spend the night. I hastily picketed my horse outside where he could find plenty of grass, and entered the cabin. I was agree ably surprised to find it in such good condition. The door was firm on its hinges and sockets on each side seemed to invite the heavy bar that was lying close by on the floor. The window shutter could be secured in the same way. A big fireplace was built in one end but the cabin <:ontained no furniture whatever-unless a pile of dii:ty straw in one corner could be regarded as such. I lost no time in securing the door and the window and then I felt comparatively safe, for I was well armed with a Winchester and a pair of revolvers. I had crackers and jerked beef in my knapsack, and making a cheerful blaze in the fireplace I ate a hearty lunch. Then I lit mv pipe and sat down with my back against the wall, where the heat could easily reach me. I could hear my horse moving about outside, but no other soqnd reached me; and I began to be ashamed of my fears. I smoked and pondered for two or three hours, and I wa s just considering the advisability of bringing my horse inside the cabin for b etter security, when, without the least warning, a sharp report rang in my ears, and a bullet buried itself in the log within an inch of my face. Startled as I was, I had sufficient presence of mind to throw myself flat on the floor, grasping my rifle in the fall. I did not intend this for a ruse, but my unknown enemy evidently thought I had fallen from the effects of hisbullet, for instantly I heard a t'humping on the door, and a few words spoken in a low voice. Ca stro and the Apache were outside, I had no doubt. The shot was fired through a chink in the logs, and, creeping over the floor, I put my Winchester to the orifice and let drive twice in s ucce ssion, to let them know that I was not a dead man yet, and determined not to be one, if I could help it. A hasty glance at the cabin walls showed rne that wide cracks abounded everywhere, and, alarmed at the peril I was in, I tore off my coat and running swiftly to the fireplace, smothered the blaze and stamped out the t;mbers. I breathed easier when this wa s done, for, of course, my foes con Id not do any accurate shooting in the dark. Then I sc.t down in the c enter of the floor to await the next move. It was a trying situation, and the thought of spending tbe loijg hours of the night in baffling the attempts of the two would-be assassins was terrifying. For a long time all wa s quiet, and then I heard them fumbling at the door and the window. This gave me little concern. I knew they could not force an entrance there. 'fhen another hour went by, and I was beginning to hope the miscreants had abandoned their scheme when I suddenly became aware that some one was on the roof. I understood instantly what this meant. My foes intended to come down the chimney. The sounds were so loud and so close that I believed one of them to be already dei:;cending, and snatchiug up an armful of straw from the pallet, I dashed it in the fireplace and applied a match. A few seconds later I realized what a dangerous trap I had blundered into, for as the blaze flooded the room with light, a rifle cracked, and I was knocked forcibly to the P.oor. I believed for a moment that I was mortally wounded, but a little later I fotmd that the b11llet bad struck my watch and glanced harmlsesly off, after shattering the works. I was not slow to comprehend the trick that had been played on me, and without any delay I crept to one corner of the room, which by this time was comparatively dark, for the straw had nearly burned itself out. 011e of the fellows had remained below ready to shoot while his confederate worked the cunningly-laid scheme from the roof. For a time I was pretty sore from the shock, and then I began to fear that as a last resource they would come down the chimney in earnest. I concluded to be on the safe side by preparing for such an emergency, and as the fire was now out, I gathered up what straw remained and piled it in the chimney place, ready to use if occasion required, though I determined to make sure that my enemy was actually on his way down before I flooded the cabin with light again. I suppose two hours must have pass ed this time with out the slightest move from the miscreants, but I rc.1111ained watchful and alert, with my Winchester on my knee. 'l'hen I was startled to see a tiny flame licking the base of the straw pile. Some sparks must have lingered in the embers of the previous fire, and I rose quickly to put out the blaze. But before I conlcl reach the spot the tiny flame had expanded with startling celerity, and the f,replnce was a glowing furnace. I looked hurriedly around for shelter, but before I could move a hoarse cry rang out from the chimney, and down tumbled Blueskin, the Apache, into the seething fire. I dashed forward and dragged him out on the floor by one leg, before the flames could do him seiious injury. He was stunned from the fall, though, and before he was able to offer any resistance, I had him. securely bouud, hand and foot, with a strong rope that I fortunately chanced to have in my pocket. Dmi11g this time Castro wa s 'probably on the roof, for no shots were fired through the logs; and, as the straw burned itself out, I felt that the siege bad ended in ruy favor. From Blueskin I had nothing to fear, and I knew that the cowardly Mexican would not attempt to carry_ out a plan at which his comrade had failed so disastrously. The Indian spent the remainder of the night in groaning, and when the weicome daylight shoue through the logs my friend Block arrived on the sceue with several of his ranchmen, and my siege was over. The ranch turned out to be only two miles away. My friend bad bee1i expecting me on the previous day, aud the sound of shooting during the night led him to make a search in this direction,

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r THE JESSE Jf\MES STORIES. Castro had decamped, taking my horse with him, but he"{as captured at a neighboring settlement a week l ater. B1i.1eskin recov .ered from his burns, aud was handed o ver to the sheriff, who put him where he .was not likely to injure any person for s ome time to My escape that night was truly a Providential one. '!'he crafty Apache had beeu stealing without a sound down the broad .chimney when the little spark that was smoldering for hours burst into a blaze at jus t the right moment, for if B _lueskin had gained the interior of the cabin, this story would probably have never been written. A Winning Uppercut. (By Merle Bates, Pa.) In our town there ar:;two boys, Denny Wads worth and Dennis Boyle. They are both good boxers, and they have fought each other before, but n either of them has "been declared wiI111e1-, so one.night they decided to sel tie it. They met at Stickler's Flat at 6 p. m. I was elected ref e ree. Dennis was the smaller of the t wo. He led off with a hard lug 011 the nos e which was answered by a knock on the chin. The fighting was pretty hot the first round, and when I called time at the beginning of the second round they went at it pretty swift. At the end of the second round Denny was looking pretty groggy. They faced each other, and when they started again they sparred a little bit, and then Boyle got in an uppercut which knocked his opponent over. Denny got up, but he fought wildly, and Boyle soon got in a jab that settled him . Denny had a bloody nose and a blackeued eye. I declared Boyle winner. EXCHANGE COLUMN. (Notice.-'J'his column is free to all our readers, but we c a n not be respons ible for transactions made thr.ough it. All offers mus t be strictly exchange offers, and no "for sale" advertise meuts, or exchanges of explosives, or worthless a"rticles will be printed. Address all communications for this column to "Exchange Column.") Floyd Hopson, 209 1-2 \Vest Seventh street, St. Paul, Minn .. will give 4 novels for every 12 lion h eads or Arbuckle signatures; I nov el for every IO tbbacco tags. He also wants Bee Soap wrappers and Sweet Ca .para! Cigarette box fronts. .. lmllil.a ... You are an American Boy and Should Know All About Of Course You A "'\VII'J"NER wrr:.1-:r THE 13ovs. THE FINEST MOST UP0 STORY PAPER EVER PUBLISHED. Frank.Merriweil. the great Yale Athlete, writes exclusively for Fine 1att!ing serial stories always running in The ''Old Pard his famous "corner" in The Boys of A merh;a League has for its official organ The Young l\uthors' Ubgary Contest is now running in The Uvellcst anecdotes, and short stories are printed in And the finest and most exciting storres of adventure are found in Ask your newsdealer to show you 3 copy of this r11ttling weelcly, or send .far .-1 sample copy to STREET&. SMITrJ, 238 William Street, New York. IT as JUST ViHAT YOU AR. E FOR. CET IT THIS WEEK.

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r JESSE JAMES / (LARGE SIZE.) The Best Stories Published of the Famous Western :Outlaw.:. 112-Jesse James' Close Call; or, The Outlaw's Last Rally in Southern Wyoming. . 13-Jesse James in Chicago; or, The Bandit King's Bold Play. 14-Jesse James in New Orleans; or, The Man in the Black Domino. 15-JesseJames' Sigpal Code; or, The Outlaw Gang's Desperate Strategy 16-Jesse James on the Mississippi; or, The Duel at Midnight. l 7-J esse James' Cave; or, The Secret of the Dead. 118-The James Boys in St: Louis; or, The Mysteries of a Great City . 19-Jesse James at Bay; or, The Train Robbers' Trail. 20-Jesse James in Disguise; or, The Missouri Outlaw as a Showman. 21-Jesse James' Feud with the Elkins Gang; or, The Bandit's Revenge. 22Jesse Jam es' Chase Through Tennessee; or, Tracked by Bloodhounds. 23-Jesse Jatpes In Deadwopd; or, The Ghost of Shadow Gulch. 24-J esse Jam es' 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 James' Kidnaping Plot; or, The Massacre at Weldon's. 27-Jesse James Among the Mormons; or, Condemned to Death by the Saints. 28-Jesse James' Capture and Escape; or, Outwitting the Pancake Diggings Posse. 29-Jesse James' Hunt to Death; or, The Fate of the Outlaw Vasquez. 30-J esse James' Escape From Cheyenne; oi, In League with the wyoming Regulators. 31-Jesse James' Rich Prize; or, The Battle at the 'Old Stone House. 32-J e ss e Jam es and His Ally, Polk Wells; or, An Errand of Life or Death. 33-J esse James in New York; or, The Missing Millionaire. 34-Jesse James' Deal in Sacramento; or, Holding Up the Overland Expres s. 35-Jess e James Against the Record; or, Seven Hold-Ups in a Week. 36-Jesse James and the Woodford Raid; or, The Nervy Bandit Hard Pushed. 37-Jesse James' Narrowest Escape; or, Chased by a Desperate Band. 38-J esse Jam es and the Black Valise; or, Robber Against Robber. 39-The Jam es Boys Driven to the Wall; or, The Three Lives of \i\f ild Decatur. 40-Jesse Jam es' Ruse; or, T he Escape from "Lame Horse Settlement." 41-J esse Jam es in Mexico; or, Raiders of the Rio Grande. 42-J esse J am es' Double Game; or, Golding, the Dandy Sport from Denver. 43-J esse Jam es Surrounded; or The Desperate at Cutthroat Ranch. 44-Jess e James' Spy; or, Corralling a Whole Town. 45-Tbe James Boys' Brotherhood; or, The Man of Mystery. 46-J essie J arnes' Railroad; or, The Outlaw Brotherhood at Bay. 47-Jesse James Foiled; or, The Pinkertons' Best Play. 48-Tbe James Boys' Steamboat; or, The River Cruise of the Bandit Brothers. 49-Jesse James' Jubilee: or, The Celebration at 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 by mail, postpaid. SrnEH & SMITH, 233 Wi!liam Street, New York.

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