Young Wild West's pony express, or, Getting the mail through on time


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Young Wild West's pony express, or, Getting the mail through on time

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Title:
Young Wild West's pony express, or, Getting the mail through on time
Series Title:
Wild West Weekly
Creator:
An Old Scout
Place of Publication:
Brooklyn, New York
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
31 p. ; 29 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels ( lcsh )
Western stories ( lcsh )
Pony Express -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Brigands and robbers -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Pulp literature ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Notes

General Note:
Reprint in 1915.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
031850203 ( ALEPH )
71652133 ( OCLC )
W16-00034 ( USFLDC DOI )
w16.34 ( USFLDC Handle )

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serial

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:WILD WEST WEEKLY A Magazine Containing Stories, Sketches Etc., of Western Life. Issued Weekly-By 'Subscription $2.50 per year. Application made for Second Cla1& entry at the New York, N. Y., Post O.Oice. Enternd accordi11g to Act of Congress, in the year 1903, in the office of the Librarian of Congre1s Washington, D. C., by Frank Tousey, 24 Union Square, Ne w York. NEW YORK, JUNE 12, 1903. Price 6 Cents. Young Wild West's Pony Express; OR, GETTifiG rfiE l'/IAil! Ofi Tif/IE. By A N OLD SCO U T CHAPTER I SHOOTING FOR A PIG. "Here you go, now I One dollar for a chance on ther fat test pig ever seen in Yaller Dust. Only a dollar, gents; step up an' get a chance. There ain't goin' to be no throwin' of dice; it' s goin' t o be a shootin' match, an' ther feller what makes ther best score takes ther porker. Come, now! Lay in your chances. Ther money is to. go to poor Dick Rannie, what's dyin' by inches from that cough he' s got. Ther pig weighs all ther way from four to five hundred, an' we want to raise fifty dollars .for Dick, if we kin. Yon want a chance, young feller? That's rigli.t. helpin' along a good cause." The speaker was a rough, bearded man of fifty, whose every appearance would indicate that he had been born and bred in the Wild West. The scene was in the central part of what was then called Dakota Territory. It was a rather warm day, and the square in front of the one-story building that had a sign on the front bearing the l egend, "Axter House.-Meals at all hours and liquor for sale," was pretty well filled up with a motley crowd consist ing of cowboys, miners, troopers, scouts and a few Indianfl, t h at were supposed to be civilized. T he attraction was a ratheri small pen that c o ntained a ra ther large hog. Every one appeared to be very much in terested in them, and the fellow who was offering chimces o n the b i g porker was doing a prlil1'tJ good hsiRess A handsome youth of nineteen or twenty, whose f o r m was as giaceful and as perfect as that of an Apollo, had jus t dismounted from a spirited sorrel stee d and purchased a ticket. He was attired in a neat-fitting hunting-suit composed of buckskin breeches trimmed with red fringe, a blue sil k shirt and pearl-colored sombrero with a b l ue cord and tassel about it. This was no other than Young Wild West, the P rince of the Saddle, Champion Dead-shot of the West, and one of the richest mine owners in all Dakota. He had just ridden into the littla town of Yellow Dust that was situated near the northern extremit}"pf what was called Fox Ridge, and with him were two of his pa r t n e r s i n business and chums through thick and thin. One was Jim Dart, a boy of about his own age, han d s ome and athletic, and the other was the famous Indian scout, Cheyenne Charlie, who had not long passed his thirt i et h year. You ng Wild West wore his hair lon g a nd: being of a light chestnut hue, his manly form was set off to g r eat ad vantage by the curling locks that hung d o wn over his shou l ders. Jim Dart did not wear his hair long. The scout, w h o w a s tall and as straight as an arrow, w o re a dark bear\ t hat jus t fitted his handsome face and gave him th o f a man of great judgment and coolness As Young Wild West ha n ded over a dolla r and took a

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chance on the hog that was to be competed for in a shooting match, his two friends h astened to follow his example. They were attired similarly to him, and as they stood there before the crowd they certainly made the best appear ance of any of them, as far as dress and looks went. If it came to formidable looks, there were plenty there who could lay away over them, for some of the men literally bristled with knives and revolvers. But our three friends were not without arms, either. The usual belt containing a brace of revolvers of the latest pat forn of the times and a hunting knife was buckled about the waist of each of them. "Strangers, you is welcome as ther day is long," resumed the man who was taking the money for the chances. "When you hand a dollar to me you are doin' it for a good cause. Dick Rannie is on hi s last l egs, an' we want to help him an' his family." The sale of chances had only begun a few minutes before the arrival of our three friends, and they had not been there more than ten minutes when the whole fifty were dis posed of. The last man to buy a chance was a short, thick-set man of forty, who rode up a coal -black horse ju t as the miner \ras calling out that there was only one left As the stranger paid his money and got a number, he stepped back and began tb eye Young Wild West and hi s two partners sharpiy. I{e was rather fancifully attired in a dark jacket of vel vet, corduroy knee breeches and patent-leather boots with silver-plated spur rowels at the heels. On his head was a soft felt hat with the crown dented in at the top, and the red leather belt about his waist had a pair of holsters attached to it, from which the shining handles of a pair of silver-mounted shooters could be seen. The man was not without jewelry, either, for there were two diamond rings on the fingers of his left hand, a sparkler showed in his ruffled shirt front and a heavy gold chain was suspended from a pocket in his shirt to the buckle of his in this here town, so I guess there'll be some tall shootin' done. This here affair is gain' to be a success, as sure as my name are Sol Sampson!" The remark was made for the benefit of the strangers, it seemed, for as soon as he spoke the words, Sol Sampson stepped down the big log he had been standing upon and made for the shanty where the Rannie family lived to t.urn over the money to them. :Meanwhile our three friends followed the thick-set stran ger into the "Axter House," as the hotel was named, after having first tied their horses to the hitching posts that stood in a row at the side of the rough, unpainted building. "1Iine is whiskey," said the stranger, rubbing his hands as though he had them in an imaginary basin and was wash ing them. "I will take a temperance drink with you," answered Young Wild West. "So will I," spoke up Jim Dart. "Well, a drop of good liquor won't hurt me, I reckon," remarked Cheyenne Charlie. Though he seemed a trifle surprised at what the two boys calh,d the n;ian said nothing. Whm the drinks had been swallowed he put his hand in an inner pocket and pulled out a handful of cards. Ile handed one to each of the three. On the cards was inscribed: "Percy Pearnall, N everdic l\Iine, N evcrdie, Col." "Now you know who I am, gentlemen," he remarked. "I suppose you have no objection in letting me know who y.0 .... are?" "None whatever,'' replied the young Prince of the Saddle. "I am Young Wild West, and these gentlemen are my part ners, CheyenDC' Charli" and ,Jim Dart. We belong in Wes ton, a small town in the Hills, and are interested in mining there." "Ah! I am rl'al glad to know you," and he shook hands with them in a very hearty manner. belt. But in spite of the man's apparent friendliness, there was "Can you tell me whether this is a good place to put up or something about him that Wild did not like. not?" he asked of Young ".ild West in a low tone. It struck him that Percy Pearsall, as he called himself, I could not tell you," was the reply. "I only arhad journeyed to the little town oi Yellow Dust for some rived here a few minutes ago and know nothing about the crooked purpose. town." I Our hero's experience liad taught him always to look "Ah, a stranger here like myself, eh? Well, let's go in upon affable strangers with distrust until he found them the place and see what it look s like, anyway. your two out. friends to come. I can see that they are strangers here, Young Wilrl West ancl hiR two partners had been sumtoo." maned to the place by a Govrrnment official who had estabWild looked at Charlie and Jim, and then t'1rning to the lished temporary headquarters at Fort Unity, which was lostranger, said: catcd on the banks of the Missouri River about forty miles "We were just thinking of going in, so I suppose we below Yellow Dust. might as well go inside together. We, too, want to put up .'Wild had been asked in a communication if he would un lCre for a day or two." dertake the task of carrying the mails from the fort to Owl As the four turned to leave the crowd the man who had Flats, a military station and mining settlement on the Owl sold the chances rilled out in a loud voice: River a hundred miles distant. "Gents, ther ootin' match will start at four o'clock In that section fhe marauding bands of Sioux Indians aharp, so be on hand. There arc plenty of good rifle shots and outlaws made it very dangerous traveling between the

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YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. 3 two points, and that was why it was that the mail seldom I observed Cheyenne Charlie, as Pearsall moved up to the got delivered from one point to another. other end of the bar for a match to light the stump of a ciAt either end of the hundred-mile stretch the fatlities gar he had in his mouth. were better for the transportation of the bags, and littiC' or "Yes," answered Wild. "I can't say that I like him. no trouble was given to the carriers. It strikes me that he is trying to get on friendly terms with When Young Wild West received the request he promptly us for some purpose." talked it over with his two friends, Cheyenne Charlie and "Maybe he is a gambler," suggested Jim. Jim Dart, and the result was that he decided to undertake "I was thinking that way myself. to form a Pony Express route between JTort Unity and Owl Flats. The daring young Prince of the Saddle was offered five thousand dollars if he could succeed in establishing the route and run it without losing any of the mail for one month. He had filled out the papers and signed them, and then forwarded them to the Government official at the fort. Then, in less than two weeks later, he and his two friends bad been summoned to the fort. They were on their way there when they rode into Yellow Dust, which was located nearly half-way between the two points of the mail route. Wild figured on the three of them doing the task. One of them would be at each end of the route and one at Yellow Dust continually. It would be what is termed relay riding. That would always leave a man and. horse fresh and ready to relieve the rider when he had traveled his part of the dis tance. It was about the middle of the afternoon when the three arrived at Yellow Dust in time to take chances on the "big pig," as the miners called it. It was the last day of May, and as the contract was to be gin on the first of June, our friends must necessarily be at the fort to start in on the morrow. When Wild told Percy Pearsall that they wanted to put up at the hotel he did not mean that they wanted to stay over night; he simply meant that they wanted to get some thing to eat, so lhey could proceed on their journey wjth full stomachs. And as they had eaten nothing since early morning, they were pretty hungry. "I tell you what I want," said Wile], looking at the man who had been so anxious to make friencl with them, "I want something lo eat." "So do I," was the quick reply. "Landlord, just get something ready in the line of a good, hearty dinner for four of us. Never mind the expense, but hurry it up." "All right," replied the hotel keeper. "I can give you a layout of beef steak, bacon and eggs, coffee and hot corn muffins in just half an hour. You couldn't beat that much, could you?" "No," laughed Jim Dart. "That is good enough. You know your business, landlord." "I reckon that any one who knows Billy Axter will say that," was the retort, and away he went to the kitchen to give the order. "That feller is bound to push himself ahead, I reckon," "Well, if he is he will get for we don't want to get in any game, even if we had time to stay here." "No; I never get in a game unless I do it for the purpose of finding out something. We will simply eat our dinner, and then if they are ready to shoot for the pig we will try our hands, and then be off or Fort Unity. Charlie, you had better see to it that our horses are given a little rubbing down, a.nd then they can be chewing their oats while we are taking in the shooting match." The scout at once went out and turned their horses over to the care of the stableman. "Have a fresh cigar, Mr. Pearsall," said Wild, as the thick-set man came back to them. "Don't care if I do." Our hero called for the best in the house and each took one. "I will keep mine until after he said. "I always enjoy a cigar right after eating." "Ah, I see! You are a great smoker, but no drinker." "I smoke now and then, but never drink anything intox icating." "A good point, no doubt; but I don't happen to be built that way. But say Who do you think is going to win that pig?" "That would be a hard thing for me to say. I don't know what kind of marksmen there are in this town." "But you know what sort of a marksman you are your self, don't you?" 0 h, yes." "Well, I know what I am in that line, too. I'll just make you a friendly wager of a hundred dollars that I will come nearer to winning the pig than you. Come, now Take me up on it, and we will give the winnings to the poor family the pig is being chanced off for." "I'll take that bet!" exclaimed Charlie, before Wild could get a chance to speak. "I'll bet a hundred Wild will beat you." "All right. I am glad to see that there is some sporting blood in one of you, at least. Landlord, just hold this money, will you?" "Certainly," said the proprietor of the Axter House "What is the bet, gentlemen?" Pearsall explained. Then the proprietor put the money in his wallet and went right on doing business, as though the making of the bet was to speak of. Pearsall talked on at a rattling pace until the dinner was announced.

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4 YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. Then the four went into the roughly furnished dining room and sat down at the table. It certainly was a good, wholesome meal that had been pr epared for and they did full justice to it. It was four o'clock when they got up and went out. Pear sall paid the bill, and then lighting their cigars, they went outside. A target had been put up at a distance of two hundred and fifty yards, and the men were getting ready to shoot. The bull's-eye of the target was a black circle about the size of a door knob, and right in the center of this was a white spot of the dimensions of a pea. This was small that it could not be seen at that dis tance, but as it was in the exact center of the bull's-eye, it was decided that the bullet that came nearest to hitting the white spot would be the winner. The men shot in turn as they had bought the chances. Percy Pearsall was the last man to shoot, he having bought the last chance, and Wild and his two partners were pretty near him. There were just fifty men to participate, and only one shot apiece was to be allowed, unless there was a tie. It wns to be run off in quick order, so Sol Sampson, the maanger of the shoot, said. The marksmen now started in, firing as fast as the results could be announced. It was not until the twentieth man had fired that the bull's-eye got touched at all, and then it was right on the edge. The thirty-ninth man camB a trifle nearer to the center, and a cheer went up from his friends. Wild,'s number was forty-two, and his turn soon came. ther last of ther white spot!" cried Cheyenne Charlie. CHAPTER II. THE OUTLAW'S CAVE. In a small back room of a s hanty saloon in the little town of Owl Flats on the same day that Young Wild West arrived at Yellow Dust, two men were seated drinking and smoking. There was nothing much about them to distinguish them from foe good and bad element of the place, as they looked like the average miner to be found in the rustling town. But their conversation showed that they were not so much interested in the claim they owned as t11ey wanted others to think. They were of the sort who believe in accumulating money without working for it. They were gamblers, sneak thieves, ruffians and desperadoes combined, just as the occasion required for them to show up in either of their points. And notwithstanding all this, they posed as honest men among those whom they wanted to be friendly with. "I tell you,. Burt," said one of them, striking his fist upon the table vehemently, "we mustn't allow this business of ourn to git nipped in the bud. It bas been paying altogether too good for thal. We have been doing the work and raking ip the money, and the Sioux have been gittin' ther bla. for it. We ain't goin' to allow our business to be disturbed, I kin tell yer !" "Not much we ain't, Dadson; not much we ain't. What sort of a feller kin this Young Wild West be, anyway, that Captain Percy is so alarmed about him?" "I don't know, but ther captain says he's a terror an' has got nerve an' grit enough for ten." "An' he's goiif to undertake to run ther mail through on time for ther Government?" "That's what Captain Percy says." i "Cap's a putty shrewd man, or he wouldn't have got hold of this." "Well, I s'pose it are his business to know all that's goin' on." As the man called Dadson said this, he poured out a drink from the bottle that sat on the table before them. Burt followed his example, and then both took a drink. "I s'pose this Young Wild West will have a whole gang to help him git the'r mail through," observed the latter, smacking his lips and placing his glass back on the taole. "I don't know. That's what Captain Percy went over to Yellow Dust to-day for." "He ought to be there now. He left afore daylight, you know." "Yes, it's five now. Hr's been there some time. His horse is a good one, you know, an sixty miles won't hurt such an animal as that is." "Well, it ain't likely he'll be back before a couple o.f I s'pose we won't bother ther feller what comes through with ther mail bags ther day after to-morrow for the first." "No. We ain't to interfere with no one until ther captain comes to give us orders. He'll know jest wh_at to do when he comes, you know." The two rascals kept on talking and drinking until sunset. Then they got up, went ont into the barroom and settling their score, left the place. 'l'hey had two good-looking horses tied outside, and mounting them, they rode off to the east. The trail they were fo}lowing ran right along the right bank of the Owl River, a small stream that .flowed into the broad Missouri a hundred miles to the east. The two men rode at a faster gait as soon as they were outside the limits of the little town. It was a pretty dark night, but they did not slacken speed, a fact that showed they were used to the rather rough tr!lil. When they had covered a trifle over ten miles they brought their horses down to a walk and beg::rn to act in a cautious manner. They proceeded on for perhaps a quarter of a mile in this way, and then as he turned his horse and started back, the man called Burt said: "I guess ther coast is clear enough. There don't seem to be any one on ther trail to-night "Yes; it is safe enough to make for ther cave, I reckon," responded Dad son. "It was safe enough when we come past

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YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. 5 it, but there's nothin' like bein' perfectly sure, as ther cap tain says. It's his orders to act this way ewtry time we come, so we will do it, no matter how certain we are that there ain't no one, either whites or reds, watchin' us." Back they walked their horses for perhaps two hundred yards, and then pausing long enough to cast a searching glance both up and down the trail, they suddenly rode into a narrow pass that a brook trickled through and emptied into the river. Along the pebbly bottom of the brook the horses splashed until finally they came to a sloping bank that was just around a sharp turn. Then they stepped out upon dry ground and the riders dismounted. One of the men a low whistle, which was almost "instantly repeated by some one close by. Then he whistled twice, and a silence of perhaps ten seconds followed. The two villains waited impatiently, their hands on the bridles of the horses. But suddenly out of the darkness a whispered voice exclaimed: "Are you loyal ?" "We are!" they answered in unison. "To whom ?" "Captain Percy Pearsall." ''Then enter "You was long enough about lettin' us in," growled Burt, as he led his horse into the narrow mouth of a cave. That's ther matter with you, anyway?" "There's a little frouble inside," was the reply. "Ther gal ther captain brought here has got out of ther place he had her fastened in, an' she's got a knife an' a revolver which took from ther squaw what was supposed to be watchin' her. She says she won't go1 back in her prison, an' I really think she will fight." "Well, she can't git outside, kin she? What's ther use of makin' a fuss about it?" Dadson said. "Maybe you kin git her to put down ther shooter an' go back," answered the guard, drily. "I reckon I kin,'' was the reply. "Well, come on in, then." The two led their horses tbrough a short passage and turned to the left, where the guard took charge of them and proceeded to take off the saddles and bridles. This was the stable, and to the right was the regular en trance to an irregular shaped cave that was very roomy and full of jutting corners and alcoves. As the newcomers entered, they saw, by the aid of a swinging lamp that hung from the center of the under ground apartment, a rather s tartling sight A young girl of perhaps eighteen years of age stood in a corner with a revolver leveled at two or three men and half a dozen squaws T'.ne latter were all armed, but not one of them had drawn a weapon. The girl was very pretty, and as she stood there, her eyes flashing defiance to the crowd, she made an imposing pic ture, one that a person was not likely to forget for a while. "I am going out of here,'' she was saying in a ringing tone as Burt and Dadson came in. "I am going out, and the man or woman who makes a move to stop me will die!" "Ugh Put down pistol and be good," admonished one of the squaws. "I will put you down if you dare make a move to inter fere with me!" was the quick reply. "You have no right to keep me in this place against my will, and I am going to leave." She took a step forward, and the crowd involuntarily fell back. They did not like the looks of the revolver in her hands. Dadson now stepped forward. He was a quick-witted sort of a fellow, and an idea had &uddenly popped into his head. "Don't hit her with that club!" he cried suddenly, look ing as though he was talking to some one behind the girl. The ruse worked to perfection, for she lowered the weapon instantly and looked behind her. And before she realized that she had been neatly tricked Dadson seized her by the wrists and quickly rendered her helpless. "You are a lot of fools to let her scare you!" he exclaimed. "I s'pose if I hadn't showed up just as I did you'd have let her gone out." The girl now grew She had made a bold attempt to escape and had lost. "Now, I guess you'll git right back to your quarters an' behave yourself," her captor resumed. "You ought to be ashamed of yourself for tryin' to run away from ther cap tain, when he loves you so madly." Shrieking loudly for help, the girl was borne into an alcove that had been boarded up so as to make a separate apartment of it. But before putting her in there, Dadson made sure that she had no more weapons. The rough door was fastened by a bar, and then one of the squaws took up her position on a; stool before it. Though Dadson was not an officer in the outlaw bandfor outlaw band it certainly was that occupied the cave as a headquarters-he was much looked up to just by those present. Of the three men who had been in the place when the two villains entered, two of them were half-breeds and the other a white man. Counting the guard, who was also white, there were now six inen there and as many squaws, the most of whom were young and comely looking. The latter were the wives of the outlaws, and the handsome white girl was to become the bride of the captain, so it was said by them. The girl, whose name was Emma Michels, was a step daughter of the surgeon at Fort Unity. She had been kidnapped through the aid of her step.

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6 YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. ,, father, who was a villain and wanted to get some property 1 Instantly every eye was turned upon the handsome y21mg left by her mothe1:. dead-shot. This man, who held a good position under the Govern"What did I tell you, Pearsall?" exclaimed Charlie. "I ment, was in league wi-i;h Captain Percy Pearsall in the robknowed jest what I was talkin' about, an' that's why I said bing of the mails, and from it will be seen that he was it. There ain't a man livin' who can beat Young Wild not only a villain, but a traitor, as well. West a! shootin' with a rifle." His name was John Leon-Surgeon Leon-and was "It looks that way," retorted Pearsall, shrugging his deemed honest and trustworthy by his superiors. shoulders, "but it might be that there are some who can His step-daughter had been kidnapped with the underhold their own with him." standing that she should be made way with, but after he "Yes; I don't doubt that." had seen what a pretty girl she was, Percy Pearsall decided "I might, you know." to try and win her hand in marriage. "Well, you arc a good one if you do," remarked the man He cared nothiu'g for the surgeon, and he had already fig-who had held the record up to the time Wild had :fired. ured it out during the three short days of the girl'R cap-It was now Jim Dart's tur'n. tivity, that he would marry her and then treat her step-It took some time for all those who wanted to examine the father to a surprise some day by taking the fortune that target to get through, and when they did Jim stepped up. rightfully belonged to lter from him. The boy did his level best, and succeeded in placing a So it will be seen that it was a case of diamond cut diabullet in tl}e bull's-eye that touched the edge of the hole mond, and that the poor, motherless girl involved a whole Wild had rttade in the center of it. lot. Pearsall had told Emma Michels how her step-father had bargained with him to put her out of the way, and from the way she had been treated since her mother's death, the \ girl did not doubt it. But she refused absolutely to entertain the thought of marrying the outlaw leade1:. Then he had given her a week in which to make up her mind, telling her refusal to wed him meant her death. The apartment Emma occupied in the outlaws' heaclquar tcrs was fitted up with no small degree of luxury, and she was allowed the best of food and attention from the Indian woman \vho had been designated to take charge of her. But that was nothing to her just then. She wanted her liberty. CHAPTER III. YOUNG WILD WEST WINS THE SHOOTING MATCH. "Do you mean that? asked Pearsall, as Cheyenne Charlie :;:aid it would be the last of the white spot in the bull's-eye when Young Wild West stepped up to take his turn at llhoot ing for the pig. "J. certainly did mean it," retorted the scout. "I never say anything I don't mean." "Well, I'll bet you five hundred dollars that he don't touch the white spot with a bullet." "It's a go!" Wild, who was ready to shoot, waited until the money had been placed in the hands of Sol Sampson, the manager of the affair. Then he placed the butt of the rifle to his shoulder, and taking a quick aim, fired. There was a deathly silence for the space of a moment, and then the man who was attending the target and an no\mcing the results, called out: "Plumb center! 'rher white spot's gone!" Cheyenne Charlie followed and hit on the opposite side at about the same distance from the center. "The three best shots so far," said Sol Sampson. The others who came be.fore it. was Percy Pearsall's turn
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YOUNG WILD \YEST'S PO:N"Y EXPRESS. 7 The bullet hole in the center had been stuffed with a ball of paper again, and our hero raised his rifle to his shoulder and fired for the second time at the target. "He ain't lost his nerve any!" yelled the man at the get. "He hit it plumb in ther center ag'in." At this Pearsall showed signs of being just a trifle ner vous. "All right," he said. The hole was stuffed again, and then he took his second shot. "You lose!" came the shout from the man. "You've made the hole a little bigger on ther left side, an' a piece of ther paper is still in it." A scowl came over the brow of the defeated man when he heard this. "I want to see the target," he exclaimed. "Don't handle it, anybody, until I see that this report is correct." He walked away over to the target, but one look satisfied him that the report was a correct one. "Row, you see who had ther most nerve, I reckon," spoke up Cheyenne Charlie. "Come, boys, I guess we have got to be movin'. It is gittin' toward six o'clock." Wild walked over to the master of ceremonies. "I suppose I am the winner of the pig?" he remarked. "Yes; an' you won it by two of ther greatest shots I ever seen." "Well, give it to Dick Rannie, with my compliments." "Who will I tell him it was who give it to him?" "Young Wild West." "Ah, thank you, Young Wild West." Our friends now went into the hotel where Charlie col lected the bet he had won from Pearsall. Then he went over and gave the whole amount to Sol Sampson, with inst.ructions to present it to the sick man's family. Percy Pearsall was nowhere io be seen when the three mounted their horses and left the town. They should have started before, but they could not re sist the temptation to stay and take ::iart in the shooting match. "I wonder where our friend has gone?" remarked Jim, as the; rapidly left the town behind. "I have no idea," replied Wile 1rnd a ride of forty miles ahead of them, and though their horses were not any fresher than they ought to be, they expected to make the distance before daylight, and have two or three good rests on the way. One thing in their favor, the trail was pretty level and .mooth, and this helped them considerably. They rode on at an easy pace, and the miles were gradual ly covered. When perhaps fifteen miles were covered they came to a halt, and gave the horses a rest. As all were valuable steeds, more especially Wild's sor rel, they attended to them carefully, giving them a good rubbing down to keep the stiffness out of them. When they stopped again they had covered another fif teen miles. The horses did not appear to be any more tired than they were when they started the last time, and just as they were thinking of going on for the last ten miles of their journey, a light suddenly flashed in the bushes ahead of I them. It appeared as though it was made by a lantern, for it was moving off to the left. They sat still in the saddle, and listened. Then they heard footsteps. "Come on,'' said Wild. "We will ride over and see who it is that walks around this lonely part of the country at this hour of the night." As the horses started forward the light sudtlenly disap peared. But this was nothing more than Young Wild West had expected. The man with the lantern was not supposed to know whether they were friends or foes. "Hello, there!" called out Young \Vild West. "Can you tell us how much further we have got to go to reach Fort Unity?" There was no reply, so the boy urged bis horse forward and rode boldly to the spot where the light had disappeared. Then for the first time he saw a lonely little cabin standing back a few feet from the roadside. It was nearly covered with vines and the branches of trees that hung down upon it. All was in darkness, and everything was as silent as the grave. Wild felt as though he ought to be answered, so he rode up to the door and gave a knock on it. "Who's there?" came from within. "Three travelern on their way to Fort Unity," he an swered. "Can you tell us how much further we have got to go?" "About ten mile.,," came the answer from within. "Go on, now I want to get to sleep." "You could not hav<> wanted to sleep very bad, or you would not have been running around with a lantern so late," and wilh that 01, u hero turned his horse and started uwa. y from the spot, followed by his companions. They had not gone more than a dozen yards when a rifle shot rank out, and Young Wild West felt a sting on his left side. Cheyenne Charlie happened to be looking in the direction of the cabin when the shot was fired, and he saw the flash come from a little window.

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8 YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. In the twinkling of an eye be was blazing away a.t the in a little cabin, that stands at the sid,e of the trail an!'l is window with his revolver. almost concealed from view by overhanging vines, sent 11The first shot he let go caused a sharp cry of pain to bullet after us as we passed. It was meant fo. r my heart, come from the window, which showed that he had hit the I guess, but my horse happened to step in a rut j ust as the fellow who had fired at them. shot was fired, and the bullet merely grazed my skin. "Whew!" exclaimed Wild, as he pressed his hand to his See! here is where it cut my shirt." side and found blood. "I guess I got touched that time." "That is rather odd," remarked the colonel, when he had "Did the bullet go in?" Jim asked, anxiously, as they made an examination. "Have you any idea how it was that rode behind a group of trees and came to a halt. you came to be .fired upon?" "No; I guess not. .Ah! it just grazed me close.enough to "Nothing occurred to make any one fire at us," and then cut my clothing and break the skin. Spitfire stepped into the boy told just what happened. a rut just as i.he shot was fired, and that was the means of "Well, I suppose you are used to being shot at, or you saving my life." would not have taken the contract to run the mail through "Well, what are we going to do?" to Owl Flats for a month. I think you have got a rather "Do!" spoke up Charlie. "Why, raid that cabin, an' tough job ahead of you, but as you have signed the contract either kill or capture them that's in it. It is a pretty bad I suppose you will try it, anyhow?" man who would fire a shot like that. I winged ther feller "Oh, yes. I will try it; and I will succeed, too. The who done it, but I guess I didn't hurt him much He holmail goes over twice a week, and comes back twice, accord lered more from surprise than anything el se. Here goes." ing to the contract, and a:; there are three of us to do it, The scout had unslung his rifle, and placing it to his we will get it through on time." shoulder he began firing at the windows in the cabin. "Yes; you can do it easy enough if you are not interN o answering shots came, s o whe n he had fired half a I rupted by th Sioux. We are our best to dozen times, our hero told him to des ist. catch them, rn you will be protected considerably by the "Let them alone for to-night," he said. "I am satissoldiers. Tt was my idea about offering the five thousand fied that there is more than one man in the cabin. But dollars to the person who could establi s h a route between we will investigate later. is on the line of the Pony Express route, you know. We will all pas s that cabin many times during the next month." "That's right," observed Jim. "Come on, Charlie. We will see how it looks to-morrow in the daylight." The scout grumblipgly assented, but it was not exactly his wish to leave the place till the coward who had shot at Wild had been punished Wild's wound was nothing more than a scratch, as the heat from the bullet had stung him more than anything else. When they had covered about half a mile he halted and allowed Jim to apply a piece of plaster to it; then he was ready to proceed. It was a little past one when the three rode into the set tlement near the fort. There was no hotel there, so they headed s traight for the barracks. After no little waiting they were at length received and given p1aces to turn in for the night. The officer in charge had been expecting their arrival, so when they had satisfied him who they were it was all right. They arose at the sound of the bugle in the morning, and after eating with the officers, the U. S. Mail official sent for them. "So you are here on time, I see," he observed, as he shook i.he hand of Young Wild West. "Yes, colonel; I always make it a point to do as I agree to. But I came near to not getting here, for all that." "Why, how is that?" and the official looked surprised. "I was shot at about ten miles from here. Some one here and Owl Flats, and run it one month without losing nny of the mail. In addition to that sum, which is put up as a sort of a prize, you will receive sixty dollars per month as your regular pay, or pro rata, if you fail to hold the job a month." "Very well ; when will the mail be ready to start with?" ".At one o'clock." "Very well." "You are not going to back out, then?" asked the colonel. "Certainly not." "Good! That settles it., th$!." CH.APTER IV. WILD RIDES OVER TO OWL FLATS. Wild, Charlie and Jim were then called upon to sign some more document s which they did, after first reading them over carefully. "There is a great deal of 'red tape' about this business, I'll admit," observed the colonel, who had been appointed. by the authorities at Washington to perfect that portion of the mail route. "But it is strict necessity, as it is the only way to run things straight." "I don't mind signing papers," retorted Wild. "But I always do make it a point to read over carefully what is on a document before I sign it. Everybody should do this, I think." "You are right on that point. Many a man has signed his last dollar away, not knowing it. But what you have signed here is simply that if you fulfill your contract and get the mails through on time for one month you are to

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YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. 9 receive five thousand dollars as a prize; otherwise you will I "That settles it," exclaimed Wild. "I have got to push only receive pay at the rate of sixty dollars a month, and on to Owl Flats." will have to pay your help out of your own pocket." "And I have got to stop at Yellow Dust," added Jim. "I understand it perfectly," and Young Wild West "That gives me ther privilege of carryin' ther first mailsmiled as he turned to his two partners. bags from here, then,'' remarked the scout. "Well, I am "Boys,'' he added, a moment later; "if we make a miss satisfied, if you fellers are." of it, we will make rather poor wages, won't we?" "We are all satisfied, I guess," answered Wild, and then "Well, if I understand aright, you have large mining in-he went right to work saddling his horse. terests in the ,Black Hills, and that you only accepted the In a few minutes he was ready to start, so he went to proposition to come here, to show that you can do a thing the temporary office of the colonel, and told him bow they when you once attempt it?" had arranged things. "That's just it, exactly!" exclaimed our hero. "I have It being satisfactory, he waved his hand to his partners, signed thi s contract, and now 1 am going to put it through." and rode away. "And if you
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10 YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. "An' you won ther pig in ther shootin' match over there yesterday afternoon?" "Yes." "I know all about it. I was there an' seen it all. I had a chance on ther pig myself, but my shootin' wasn't nowhe1'e alongside of yourn an' that feller what tied you." "When did yon;see the man who tied me, last?" "I ain't seen him since right after ther shootin' match." "He was not at Yell ow Dust when you left this morning, then?}' "No. Leastwise, I didn't see anything of him." "Well, good morning. I've got a long ride ahead of me." "Good mornin', Young Wild West. n Willl was just a bout to ride on, when he thought of something. "Who shot your windows out?" he asked, reining in his horse again. "Ah!" exclaimed the old fellow, "I've been wonderin' who done it myself. You are ther second one to ask me that within ten minutes. I reckon that one or both of you knows sornethin' about it." "Who asked you beside myself?" "Surgeon Leon from ther Fort." "He just left you a few minutes ago, didn't he?" "Yes. But, say! Do you know anythin' about my winders bei:u,4;hot out?" "Yes; I ki10w something about it. A friend of mine did it somew1wre around twelve o'clock last night." "He did, hey?" and the old man showed signs of anger. "Well, I reckon he'll pay for ther damage he done, then. There's a whole lot of blood in the house, too. I knowed Ebme one was in there, an' I made up my mind that either you or ther surgeon knowed somethin' about it by ther way you talked. But I was waitin' for you to give yourselves away." "Well, see here, my friend. I'll tell you all about it, if you aTe "11re you don't know." "I don't know." "Well, I will tell you, then," and Wild did tell him just what happened the night before when he passed that way in the company of Cheyenne Cha.die and Jim Dart. "Some one was runnin' around here with a lantern, hey?" gasped the old fellow. "An' some..one shot at you from the house, did they? Well, I'd jest give five dollars to lmow who it was that kin git-in an' out of my shanty a:s they feel like it, when I'm away. This ain't ther first time it has happened, either. Some one was in here ther other night, when ther gal from ther Fort went away an' ain't been seen since. It's gittin' to be a putty how-de-do that a feller can't go way from his house for a few hours, without havin' some one to come along an' upset things for him! Young .Wild West, I believe jest what you liave told me, an' I wish you'd try an' find out who it is that's comin' around here." "Haven't you any idea, at all?" asked our hero. "Ther only one I kin lay it to is Surgeon Leon, though I wouldn't like him to hear that I sai d so." "Well, I will ride back and forth past her.e every now and then for the next month, and if you will keep an eye on the surgeon and the man who tied me at t)ie shooting IJiatch, and tell me what they are doing when you happen to see them, try and :find out for you." "You will?" "Yes; you get a little evidence that they are not exactly what they make out to be, and I'll do the rest. You said a girl had from the Fort, didn't you?" "Yes; she's a step-darter of ther surgeon, an' a mighty putty gal she is, too. He's offered a big reward for her return, but I don't think he seems to be so awful anxious about her, for all that." Young Wild West was much interested in what the old man said. He now began began to think that Surgeon Leon was a very suspicious character, and that he would bear consider able watching. He talked with the hermit for ten minutes lon ger, and learned enough to make him believe that the surgeon knew something about the disappearance of his He also learn ed that the old fellow's name was Gunnison, and that be had built the cabin and had lived there alone ever since the Fort had been establitihed ten miles beyond, on the bank of the Missouri. "That old.fellow has told me nothing but the truth," he mused, as he rode away. "There is something peculiar about me being shot a.t last night. It looks as though the robbers of the mail have begun their work to keep me from going through. But I will de.feat them. I am going ... to run this Pony Express for one month i I have to wade through blood He kept on riding, and reached Yellow Dust at one o'clock. He stopped at the same place he had
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YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. 11 It was a trifle after two when he set out for the sixty mile ride to Owl Flats. Spitfire was a tough horse, and he hoped to make the dis tance before it.grew very late in the night. One,thing, the road was a pretty good one. It ran parallel with the Owl River, some places being right on the bank of it. Wild allowed the spirited sorrel to travel at his owb gait, and the miles rapidly slipped by. Just before darkness set in he met a detachment of eight cavalrymen who were doing patrol duty on the trail. He halted, and had a talk with them, and when they learned that he was the one who had contracted to carry the mail for a month, they showed much interest in him. "We will help you all we can," said the lieutenant in command. "But I am afraid that you and your friends will have a hard time of it. There has been no mail through in over a week now, and that was run by a stage coach line, which has now gone out of business, on account of losing three men, and the business poor in the line of passengers." "Well, you help me all you can, and I guess we will get through aH right," repliecl Wild. "This Pony Express will be som,ething new, and we will surprise these mail rob bers. My two partners art' very fellows, and they c:an generally tell a good man from a had one at the first sight. They know how to shoot st raight, too, and have good horses." "I wish you would give me your name, and also the ::;;mes of your partners, together with a description of them,'' said the lieutenant. Young Wild West did so, and one of the men, who had heard e>f him, asked to shake his hand. "Lieutenant," he remarked, "if any one can get the mail through, Young Wild West can. I have heard enough of him to know that he seldom fails in anything he under takes." "You mustn't flatter me,'' laughed Wild. "I am not giving to making :flattering remarks," was the earnest reply. "I mean what I say, and I hope you will have the best of luck in this." Our hero went on, and without meeting any one else, got into the town of Owl Flats, hungry and tired, at a little after nine in the evening. Acting on the advice of the lieutenant, he pul up at the "Owl House," which had the best accommodations to be found in the place. The proprietor was a genial sort of a fellow, named Harvey, and Wild made up his mind then and there that he would have no trouble in getting along with him. CHAPTER V. TWICE HELD UP AND A WINNER. The next morning Young Wild West went over to the postoffice and showed his credentials to the postmaster, who was more than pleased to learn that there was a prospect of th e mail going through .regularly. "It has been very uncertain, ever since the route was first established,'' he said "There is a lot of valuable mail that goes this way, too. The miners in this section and the mining districts to the north, are sending money to their homes in the East weekly, and the Government has decided to take hold of the matter and protect them. Already nearly all the post-offices have been made registered but that does not insure the delivery of a letter or package; it simply proves that a letter or parcel has been received if the receipt comes back signed. It is going to cost the Government a big pile? of money to get things run ning right out West, J can tell you!" "I believe that,'' answered Wild. "Just as long as there are things to tempt the rascally men who seem so common in these parts, just so long will villainy thrive, unless, of course, the thieves are put to rout. I have undertaken to run the mail through on time for a month, and I will guar antee that if I am bothered by any of the mail robbers during that time, there will be a few less when my contract expires." "I like to hear you talk that way, :M:r. West. I see by this document you brought me that the first. mail from here will leave to-morrow at ten o'clock." "Yes; that give me time to meet one of my partners at Yellow Dud, who will take the bags and go on through to the Fort. The other will be here before I start, and I will rest at Yellow Dust till he comes back, and then go on to the J?ort. That is the way we will do it to begin with, but we want to fix it so one of us is at each of the three places continually, and arrange it FO the hundred miles can be divided up equally during the week." "Well, I suppose you can do, that all right" "Oh, yes; we can arrange it so that we all do the same amount of work." "You can change off on the days that you have the short nm between the Fort and Yellow Dust." "Oh, we will have plenty chance to rest, unless the out laws get after us so hot that they put us out of business." "Well, I hope they don't do that,'' said the postmaster, sincerely, for it was to his interest that the mail route should be safe. Wild's horse had had the best of care, and the spirite d animal was as frisky as a kitten when he went to saddle and bridle him a few minutes before ten. It was time that Jim Dart ffiowed up, and as Wild mounted :rnd rode over to the to get the mail bags, he began to grow just a irifle anxious. But a minute or two later a cloud of dust showed in the distance, and then one of the miners in the waiting crowd that bad gathe red around the office to see the mail come in and go out, shouted : "Here comes the Pony Express with the mail! Now, boys, we'll git some word from home!" It was Jim Dart sure enough.

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12 YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. He was riding hard, as though he was awar e that he was late. When he brought hi s foaming hor s e t-0 a halt a cheer went up from the crowd. Jim took off his hat and bowed, and then quickly dis mounting, delivered the mail bags to the pos tma s ter. "So you got through all right, eh, Jim?" Wild observed a minute later, as he was ready to start "Yes. I had company all the way from Y ellow Dust. That kept me from riding as hard as I wis hed to." "Who came over with you?'"' "Percy Pearsall." "Where is he now?" "He stopped about five miles below here. There were three prospectors there, whom he s aid were hi s friends. He said he would be here a little later." There was no further time to talk now, a s the pos tma s ter came out with the mail. The bags were s wung over the s orrel' s ba c k before and behind the saddle, and buckled to it. Then, with a wave of his hand, Young Wild Wst gal loped off on his Pony Express rout e "Jim had a little the worst of it, I guess," he thought as he rode along. "We have got to arrange it so we only ride in the daylight, if it can be done. The night i s the time for the robbers to attack u s anyway." The morning was a fair one, and the bre e z e that came from the mountain s was bra c ing. Wild was expecting to meet P e rcy Pear s all but when he had cove r e d about seve n mile s he came to the c onclu s ion that he mu s t have taken anoth e r route. But at that v e ry moment he heard the clatter of hoof s from b e hind him, and turning, h e b e h e ld three villainou s men purs uing him, with their rifles to their s houlder s ready to fire. Ah! h e mutte r e d "so s oon? On, S pitfir e If those fellow s ar e aft e r these m a il bag s they will never g e t the m this trip. The noble hors e bur s t into a s wift g allop and jus t the n another hor s eman s howed up from another dir e ction. He was riding to h e ad off the youn g Pon y Express rid e r, and Wild saw at a glance that he was quite apt to do it, if his hor s e held out at its pre s ent gait. The fellow who had succeede d in h e ading him off now c ame dashin g towa rd him with l e veled rifle. But b e fore h e e ould fire Young Wild West dropped him with a bullet from hi s revolver. Then the sorrel made a spurt. With his main foe out of the way, boy now saw the way clear But as tho s e behind kept on firing he turned in the sad dle and laid another man low. Then the other two dropped back and gave up the chas e "Tally one for Young Wild West's Pony Express!" said Wild with a grim s mile. "There are two less of them to hold up the mail now." When h e had covered about four mile s he brought his hor s e down to a s lower pace, a s he felt that there was no furth e r danger from th e villain s who had attacked him When h e was within ten mile s of the town of Yellow Dust h e s udd e nly cam e upon a band o f Indian s Though th e y were peaceful ones they stopped him and asked for firewa ter "I have n o firewater," Wild said. to them. "I don t drink s uch stuff, and never carry it with m e ." "Ugh!" grunted the chief, who wa:swith them. "Pale face boy t e ll heap big lie." "See h e re, Red skin!" exclaimed Young Wild Wes t. "It s trike s m e that you are looking for trouble Now, you can see that I am carrying the mail for the Great F ath e r at Was hin g ton, s o you h a d b ette r l e t m e go on a bout my bus iness. If you don t the s oldi e r s will b e aft e r you." There was about a doz en of the m and they all seem e d t1 be in the humor to do some mischief. "If pal e fa c e boy no g ot fire wat e r, we take bags," s aid th e c hi ef. Th e Indian s qui c kl y s urrounded Wild as thi s r e mark was made, and h e saw that the re was only on e alternative and tha t was to fight. .As qui c k a s a fl.as h h e pla ced th e bridl e r e in in hi s teeth and whipp e d out hi s brace of r evolve r s Stand back, you red fiends h e c ri e d L ay y our hand s on those mail bag s and I will s hoot!" Thi s aba s hed them s omewhat, but they w e r e not in th e mood to give up s o ea si'ly. Wild dec ided to make a br e ak for it. He pressed hi s heels again s t the flank s of his horse, and But he resolve d to give him a race. then away das hed th e s pirited s orrel. Those behind him were not gaining a particle, and presThe Indians were s cattered right and left by the move, ently one of them :fired a s hot but one of the m recovered, and being mor e reckless than The buUet whistled harmle s sly over Wild 's head, but he the others, began to s hoot at the boy with hi s revolver. did not make a move to return it just then. Two bullet s whistled past hi s head dangerously close, and He was keeping hi s eye on the man who was trying to then Wild thought it time to fire. head him off. He s ent two s hot s at them, dropping a c oupl e of them He was the only dangerous one in the lot. from their horse s wounded, but not dangerou s ly Nearer and nearer they came together, and two more That s ettled i.hE>m, for in s tead of giving pursuit they shots were fired at the brave boy from behind. realized that they had attack e d an employee of the Gove rnThere would have to be s omething done in less than ten ment, and became frightened seconds, if the Prince of the Saddle meant to get through Wild rode into Yellow Du s t ahead of time, and found w.in the mail bags. Cheyenne Charlie waiting for him with his horse s addled.

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YOUNG WILD WES'l"S PONY EXPRESS. 13 The mail bags were quickly transferred, and then the scout rode away for the forty miles to Fort Unity. So quick was the transfer made, that they barely had time to exchange greetings. Wild turned his, horse over to the care of the stableman, and then went into the hotel. He was tired and hungry, for riding the way he bad was no play. A good wash, and he was ready to sit down to a hearty meal. He took his time about eating, and when he bad finished he went out into the barroom and purchased a cigar. He had just lighted it, and was puffing away contentedly, when half a dozen soldiers .from the Fort came in. Among them was Surgeon Leon. "Hello, Young Wild West!" the latter called out. "How a.re you making out with your Pony Express?" "First rate," retorted Wild. "Haven't been held up, have you?" "Yes; only twice to-day." "Lost the mail, did you?" and the surgeon's face was crossed by a look of satis.factibn. "Oh, no!" answered the 'Young Prince of the Saddle, not failing to notice the look. "I brought the mail through all right. You must have met my .partner, if you came from the Fort, just now." "We didn't come that way," and the man showed faint signs of being disappointed. "How die] you make out with the ones who held you up? They were Indians, I sup20se ?" "One lot was; the others were white men." "And you got away from them all?" "Yes. I shot two out of each crowd, though, to do it." The surgeon gave a ;;tart. "Is that so?" he questioned. "Who were the white ::nen? Had you ever seen them before?" "I never saw them before, to my knowledge." "\Yell, I am glad you got away .from them. I have been out scouring the country for my missing daughter. gin to think that she was not kidnappPcJ, after all, and that she ran away with some fellow. I wish you would help me find her." "Well, if you really want me to help you, I will. Just give me the facts of the case." At this juncture who should come in but old Gunnison, the hermit. "Give me a pint of ther cheapest licker you've got," he said, walking up to the bar. "Hello, old man!" cried the surgeon, who had been drinking just enough to make him act a little reckless. "Come and have a drink with me. You, too, Young Wild West." As these words were spoken the hermit turned and saw both Wild and the surgeon. "Jest ther two I wanted to see!" he cried,,stepping up. "Now, surgeon, an' Young Wild West, which of you was it that was in my cabin ther night afore last?" The face of the surgeon turned red at this, but Wild only smiled. "I was not inside your house, Mr. Gunnison," our hero "I was shot by some one who was inside, though. Just ask the surgeon if be was there when the shot was fired." At this the surgeon sprang toward Wild, and aimed a blow at his face with his fist. "What do you mean by insinuating like that, Young Wild West? Take that!" Again he struck at the boy, but missed him by a good way. Then Wild caught hold of his nose, and gave it a twist. "Keep cool, surgeon, or you will get in trouble," be said, mildly. "You said I was in this man's house when you was shot at, and I say that you lie !" "Keep cool, I tell you. I didn't say anything of the kind. I simply told him to ask you if you were there." "That's insinuating it, and I demand safofaction for it. You have either got to apologize or fight me with swords." The hermit was just about to say something, but Wild motioned him to keep quiet. Then one of the cavalrymen, with the surgeon, took it up for him, and began saying insulting things to Wild. "I advise you to keep cool, too," our hero, said. "This no quarrel of yours. I simply made a remark that was rather hasty, perhaps, but I won't take it back, for I believe the shoe fits the man to perfection. It is not my bujness to fight him with swords, as he is an old man, and probably not my equal in that line. I insinuated that he was in the cabin of Gunnison when I was shot at the night before last, and I believe it, too. I also think I know who was with him. But Mr. Gunnison seems to want to say something, so I will give him the chance." "Well," spoke up the hermit, "whoever it was in my house, left this there when he went away," and be held a morocco spectacle case. Wild took it from him, and saw that the initials on it were "J. L." "Where did you get that?" cried the surgeon, excitedly, and he made a grab for the case. CHAPTER VI. EMMA MICHELS WORKS TO ESCAPE. When Fercy parted company with Jim Dart, he did so simply for the purpose of going to his snug re treat, which was but a short distance away. The prospectors Jim saw were no friends of Pearsall, neither did he know them. But as the villain rode over with the boy, he must have
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14 YOUXG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. "What's thr:r matter, cap-been in a scrimmage?" "Yes," was the reply. "Young Wild West, or one of his friends, did that." "Is that a fact, cap?" "Yes." "An' what did you do to Young Wild West?" ''I came within an ace of dropping ,him from the sad dle just before the bullet was fired that winged me." "You missed him, then?" "It was just my luck, I suppose. But we will get a chance at him in Jess than an hour from now. He is in Owl Flats, and will start out with the mail pretty soon This news surprised the outlaws not a little, but it was pleasing to them, for all that. "So ther Pony Express route is started, then?" spoke up Dodson, the man who had succeeded in getting the best of the girl captive when she was about to escape from the cave. "Yes; I rode over with the young fellow who brought the first mail over from the Fort. I met him at Yellow Dust and rode along with him for company." "Ther dickens you say exclaimed Dodson. "You didn't try to hold ther feller up, then?" ques tioned Burt. "No. 'rhat would have been nonsense. There is more valuable mail that goes in the otheir direction. When Young Wild West comes along we will relieve him of the mail bags, and teach him that it is not always the thing to be too smart. He has declared that he will run the mail on time for a month, and bas also signed a contract to that effect. He even guarantees to weed out the outlaws and reds who try to stop him from running his route. Now, it is .for us to nip his big undertaking in the bud. He will leave as soon as. the boy I rode over with reaches the postoffice. I think four will be enough to take care of Young Wild West. and the mail bags, too." "I reckon f'O." The men seemed to be delighted at the prospect of hold ing up the Pony Express rider, and they began cleaning and examining their weapons to have them ready for use. "How is the young lady?" questioned Pearsall, as he started for the tiny cascade that trickled in one corner of the big cave. ''She's about the same, I reckon," answered the man, whnse Indian wife was in charge of her. "She come mighty nigh gittin' away, cap," spoke up Dodson, who was anxious to let the captain know what he had done, and thus gain favor. "Came near getting away!" echoed the villain. "What clo yon mean ?" Dodson then related the occurrence. He did not cast any reflections on the way the rest had acted, but tried to impress it on the mind of the leader that he was something above the average man, when it came fu thinking and acting quickly. Pearsall commended the action of Dodson, and then when he had treated himself ti a good wash and had combed his hair, he headed for the apartment the girl was confinecl in. Instead of taking the bar from the door and walking right in, he gave a gentle knock. There was no answer from within, so he repeated it. And then, there being no response, he walked in. He found the girl standing in the center of the little apartment. Her eyes were red from weeping, and the rest of her face was pale. She hawed every sign of worriment and suffering. "Good morning, Miss Michels," he said, politely. "Have you come to give me my liberty?" she asked, looking him in the eye, fearlessly. "You can have your liberty any time you want it," Pear sall answered. "Become my bride, and we will hie away to Colorado and live in luxury. I own a good-paying silver mine there, and am able to give you everything you desire. Then, when that scoundrel of a step-father of yours walks iuto his own trap we will put the law on him, and you will get the fortune he has bargained to kill you to get hold of." "You talk very nice, :Mr. Pearsall," Emma Michels re plied. "Were it not that you had bargained with my step father to put me out of the way, and also threatened to do it, unlees I became your wife, I might )isten to what you :;ay. But as it is, I dete:;t you-I hate you! I will die be I become your wife! Now, then, do your worst!" "Be it so, then," he retorted, hotly. "I will give you the balance of the week, though, to change your mind in. If you have not decided, by that time, to become my wife, you shall die. I have sworn it, and always keep my word."' ... "And you will find that I can die like a true woman!" "Die you will, as sure ly as the sun rises and sets. It may be that you have given your heart to another. If so, do not hope to ever see him again. You are to be my wife, or no one's!" "I will be the bride of death!" she answered, dramatic ally. Pearsall stared hard at her for a moment, as though he thou9ht she might be losing her reason. Then without another word he left the room. As soon as he was gone a gleam of satisfaction shone from the girl's eyes. "Villain!" she exclaimed, under her breath. "I will cheat both you and my step-father. Before the week is up I will be out of here. All that is required of me now is to keep up my courage and work away at the hole I have started to dig." As she expressed herself thus she turned to some drapery at the side of the apartment, and pulling it aside, disclosed an opening between two rocks. While outside in the main cave she had noticed that the place she had been confined in was on the side of the cave that the light came through. That made her think that she might possibly dig her way out, though she did not stop to think that the cave might be lined with solid rock. Instead of being disheartened at being sei'Zed and placed

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YOUNG WILD WES'l"S PONY EXPRESS. 15 back in the apartment, she became imbued with a stronger desire to escape than ever. She had found a soft spot between the two rocks, and with the table knife, that had been left in the place by the squaw, she dug into it. The heavy draperies would conceal her work when any one came in, so a great hope arose in her breast. Once out of the cave the brave girl would make for the nearest town or settlement, and ask protection. Then she ll'ould tell her story, and the robber bancl might be broken up. Also, her E\tep-father would be punished for bargaining to have her put out of the way. There was a dashing young soldier at the Fort, who had often smiled upon Emma, and she was more than int_erested in him. Though but slightly acquainted with him, she thought more about him since she had been in captivity than any other human being. The name was David Lansing, and though but a private, had hopes of winning the affections of the surgeon's step-danghter. Emma was thinking of the clashing young cavalryman as she dug into the yielding dirt, and rapidly enlarged the opening. he knew he was stationed at Owl Flats for the present, and as she had been to that town once, she judged lhc distance, and came to the conclusion that she was not so very far from it now. It had been dark when she was taken into the cave, bnt she knew the way to the road for all that. Xot being one of the sort who are given to fainting at the first sign of danger, Emma stood some show of escaping from the cave of the robbers. For two ply. "Hand it over, or I will run you through with my sword!" Instead of complying with the demand, Wild thrust the case in his pocket. As he attempt to run the boy through the body. But the young Prince of the Saddle was altogether too active to allow anything like that to happen. He stepped nimbly aside, and seizing the hilt of the sword i)iat hung to the belt of the neare st cavalryman, he drew it, and prepared to defend himself. And, strange as it may seem, the cavalryman did not try to keep him from taking the weapon. He simply stepped back out of the way, while the fellow who had taken the part of the surgeon looked angrily at him. "What did you allow the boy to take your sword for, Lansing?" he cried. "I believe fair play," '.Vas the calm rejoinder. "You do, eh? Well, take that, then!" 'l'he fellow had been drinking, and losing control of himself, he dealt the young man a blow with the flat of his sword that caused him to stagger. 'rhen the two grappled. "' Meanwhile, Young Wild West was at it in earnest with the surgeon. The latter was an excellent swordsman, and Wild. had never .fought with such a weapon before. But that made little difference to the boy; he had the \ &trength and courage, and that meant a whole lot. In spite of the fact that he was a novice he soon began to .force his elderly foe backward. Our hero was watching everything that was going on in the room. He saw that the rest of the cava lrymen had pitched upon the man he had seized the sword from, antl were administering a FlOUnd beating to him. Wild resolved to help the fellow. So, with a quick move he disarmed the smgeon, cutting his hand pretty badly as he did so. Then he rushed at the cowards who were so intent upon heating one of their number. Spat! Spat! Spat! His clenched fists began to land upon the faces of the cavalrymen. One fell sprawling on his back, and two more went stag gering across the room. "Fair play, you cowards !'' cried Young Wild West, in a ringing tone. At this the young man called Lansing got a show, and he went at them hot and heavy. Wild kept right at his side, and in less than two minutes all of them were lying or sitting on the floor of the bar room, the surgeon included One of them drew a pistol, and was going to shoot at Wild, but the boy caught him in time, and kicked the weap on from his hand. "Don't make a mistake now, and go to shooting," he said. "If you do, I will surely drop you. You are the worst set of cowards I ever met, and it sha ll be my duty to report you when I ride oYer to the Fort." 'l'his had a wonderful effect on them all. "Let it drop, won't you?" said one. "\\'e was drunk, an' didn't know what we was doin'." "I hope you will reconsider your determination, Young Wild West," r emai-ked the surgeon, in a very humble tone. "I was the cause of all the trouble, I suppose, and I am willing to apologize for anything I did or said." "An apology is not needed from you, sir," retorted Wild.

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16 YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. "For the sake of these fellows, who now seem to realize acted as though they did not expect to find her, though, that they have made fools of themselves, I report the especially her step-father." matter. But, remember, it is not for your sake. You "Step-fathers are liable Lo be mean sometimes." were in the cabin when the shot was fired at me, and you "Yes; especially when they would be benefited if the were also close by the fellow who got shot in the wrist when child was out of the way." my partner fired at the windows. I was not positive of this "And that is the way it is in this case?" at first, but I am now." "Yes; I believe so." "Well, I shall prove to you that I was my quarters in "Well, Lansing, I will help you find her. I will do all the barracks at the time," said the surgeon, with a very I can when I ride back to Owl Flats. You are stationed white .face. "You are very hot-headed, Young Wild West, there, are you not?" / d b dl t k th' "Yes, for the nresent." an you are a y mis a en m is. ri "Let it drop at that for the present, then," retorted Wilc1, "Well, be on the lookout for me the next time I come in with a frown. "Surgeon, I have promised to help find your with the mail." rlaughter for you, ancl I will keep my word. In the mean"I will.'' time, you had better be cautious how you act. I am here A fow minutes later Lansing joined the detachment who to run the mail through on time, and all the outlaws and were doing patrol duty on the Pony Express route, and bad Indians, together with the traitors they have to help rode on back toward Owl Flats. rhem, will not stop me. I always make it a point to do a The smgeon and the others from the Fort remained at thing when I once undertake it." the hotel drinking and carousing until late that night. Wild now handed the sword back to the man he had Young Wild West excused himself, and went to his room taken it from. over an hour before they left. 'The cavai'ryman was looking at him admiringly when, It must haYc been when Wild he did so and he bowed his thanks for the ass istance ren-1 was awakenerl by hearmg a n01se m lu s room. dered When he awoke he
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. -YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. 17 By this time the landlord and some of the other inmates room the moment he heard that he had roomed at the hotel of the hotel were up. that night. They had been aroused by the noise the masked man made The landlord pushed open the door and held the lantern in leaving the house in such a hurry. inside. Thinking he might be mistaken for a burglar, Wild One glance was sufficient to show that the room was promptly called out to the landlord, saying: empty, as far as a human being was concerned. "It is me-Young Wild West. I woke and found a 'That settles it!" exclaimed Young Wild West. "Surgeon masked man in my room. He got away before I could Leon was the man. I am glad to know this, for I will now catch him." know how to treat him the next time I meet him." "A masked man!" echoed the proprietor, as he came out, revolver in hand. "Well, by jove 'l'hat beats me. What could he want in your room, I wonder?" ''He either wanted to kill or rob me, I suppose. !hello! here is the mask he wore, as sure as I live!" The young Prince of the Saddle stooped and picked up the article in question, and held it up in his hands. One of the hotel employees now came forward with a lighted lamp, and then hands looked at the mask curi ously. It was matle of the crown of a black felt hat, and had been tied with a string, which had broken in the flight of the man who had worn it, and thus it had dropped to the ground The eye-holes in the piece of felt were perfectly round, and as our hero looked at them carefully he came to the conclusion that they had been by a wad cutter for a shot-gun. "The pieces cut out would just fit a ten-bore gun," he said to the landlord. "You haven't such a thing as a wad cntter in the house, have you?" ''No," and the man shook his head. "We have two or three guns, bnt no wad-cutter." "Well, the fellow must have been slightly familiar with the hotel, or he could not have got in and out so quickly and neatly. Have you.any other guests besides these who are here?" "No other one but ther surgeon from ther Fort. He got so drunk that we had to put him to bed. He was in a regular stupor, an' ther chances that he ain't heard a word of what's goin' on." "I wish you would go up and see if he is in his room." "Well, if you think it is necessary, 1'11 do that. I hope you don't think ther surgeon was ther one who wanted to rob you?" "No. I don't think he wo11ld want to rob me. We had a quarrel, though, you know." "Y cs; but I thought that got all smoothed over?" "It was, apparently." "I'll take you to ther room of the surgeon, so you kin see for yourself if he is there." "All right." Axter lc:
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18 YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. the man put on a look of anxious surprise, that was nearly as good as the real thing. "Let it drop, then," our hero answered, rather curtly. Leon ate but very little, which showed that his debauch of the night before was telling heavily upon him. He forced a cup of coffee down and then got up from the table. A few minutes later his horse was brought to him, and mounting, be rode away in the direction of the Fort. A couple of minutes later Wild went out to the stable, and ordering his horse to be saddled, got ready to follow on the track 0 the man. He was bent on having it out with the surgeon, if possi ble. When he left the hotel he did not ride very fast, thinking that the fellow had proceeded leisurely. But when he had covered ten miles, and found that he WdS nowhere in sight yet, he struck out at a :faster pace. Five miles .further on he su Smgeon Leon, and the other was Gunnison, the hermit. Wild watched them for .a few minutes, and presently he saw the surgeon give the old man something, and then riM on. Waiting till he was out o.t: sight our hero rode out of the cover of the trees, and rode out to meet Gunnison, who was now riding in that direction. "Hello, Young Wild West!" the old fellow called out. "You are jest ther one I wani to see." "Good mornjng, Mr. Gunnison. What do you want to see me about?" "I jest met Surgeon Leon, an' had quite a talk with him. He told me not to say anything more about any one bein' in my cabin, an' he give me fifty dollars after I said I wouldn't." "Ah!" "I took ther money, 'cause when I told him I wouldn't sayany more about it, I meant that I wouldn't say any to him, you know." "I see." "Fifty dollars is a whole lot of money, you know." "Yes," answered Wild, realizing how miserly the old man was. "I found out what they was doin' in my cabin, I guess." "Yes? Well, what were they doing there?" I "Well, ther first time they was there they had the surgeon's step-darter there. She was caught in ther day time by ther ones who took her away. you know, an' they kept her in my place till it was dark. I happened to be away at Yaller Dust, where I stay more'n half my time. You see, I'm gettin' a little tired of ther way I've been livin,' so long, im' I feel sorter like mixin' up with people a little." "Yes; I should think you would feel that way. How about the next time they were in there?" "Well, ther surgeon says that him an' a friend was so drunk ther other night that they couldn't git back to ther Fort, an' they thought thh'd better put up at my cabin. They thought it was robbers alter 'em when you fellers come along, an' that is why they shot at you." "Oh!" / "That is what he said they thought, you know." "Yes; he would say that, naturally." "But I think he means to kill you, if he kin. He didn't say so right out an' out, but he sorter talked that way." "See here, Mr. Gunnison, have you told me all you know about this case?" "Every word of what I know, Mr. West." "You are sure?" "Yes, sir; I'm sartin o.t: it. I wouldn't lie to you-not i.t: I was paid for it." "Well, if you are telling me all you know, so much the better for you. Some one is going to get into no end of trouble prelty soon, and I would not want to see it be you.'' "Well, I've told you all I know about ther case; now you tell me what to do." "Just go right on as you arc, and try and find out where the surgeon's step-daughter was taken to. Give him the privilege of u ing you1 cabin whenever he cares to, too." "Ye sir." "And if you want to keep straight with the people at the Fori, just tell me ever:vthing you find out." "I'll do tlrnt, Young Wild West. "Very well. Now, let ride back to Yellow Dust. That is quite a horse you have there." "Oh! he ain't much good I bought him of Sol Samp son, in Yaller Dust. He kinder took pity on me an' sold him cheap.;' Young Wih1 West talked with the man all the way back, but he could glean nothing :further from him. Re concluded that he had been telling nothing but the iruth; but he realized th,.at his greed for gold might make him a different sort of a man in time. Some men will Jo almost anything for money. Wild thought he had better keep an eye on the hermit, for it was possible that he might take it in his head to go back on him. When thc:v the Axter Hou>
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YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. 19 "N othin', much; only there is a reward offered for ther girl what's misEin' from ther Fort,'' was the reply. "Well, I will hunt for her this trip. I have an idea that she might be somewhere around Owl Flats. Say!" and Wild lowered his voice to a whisper. "Jest keep an eye on Surgeon Leon. He tried to put a :finish to me last night." "Is that so?" asked the scout, in surprise. "Well, you kin jest bet I'll keep an eye on him!" That was all they had a chance to say. In order to make connections Wild must ride on. He had changed the time of leaving so he would reach Owl Flats just about dusk. Then Jim Dart would start out the :first thing in the morning. That would give Charlie a chance to take the mail and get it to the Fort in the early part of the evening. Wild rode along at a sharp pace, the miles rapidly roll ing up. He was keeping a sharp watch ahead of him, for he thought the Indians might be waiting for him again. But he cared not so much for them as he did the whites he had met near the end of the route. When about half way to Owl Flats he the patrol. Lansing, the young fellow who was so much interested in the missing girl, was with them. .. "I am going to ride into Owl Flats with you, Mr. West," he said. "That is why I rode out with the six men on Jim Dart had picked up consiaerable during his short stay in the town, too. By pumping the store-keeper, and a bartender, he had learned that there were two men, whose names were Burt and Dodson, that were supposed to be working a claim some eight or ten miles out of town, near the trail to Yellow Dust, but that no one had ever seen them doing much work. When he once got this to work on, he began asking ques tions, concerning the two men, of the different miners he came across. Invariably he got the same reply. No one knew much about the men. And Percy Pearsall was more of a mysterious character than either of them. When he told Wild all he bad learned, the two put their heads together, and decided to bunt up these three men in particular. Burt and Dodson bad been to town that afternoon, and they had bought a supply of stores from the grocery. It was a little before nine in the evening when Wild, Jim and Lansing rode out of the town. They headed &traight for the ridge at right of the river, and did not halt until they were within a couple of hunched yards 0 the place where Lansing declared Percy Pearsall had disappeared, when he had followed him. duty." They found a secluded spot, anc1 tied their horses. Then "Ll\.11 right," was the reply. "Have you any suspicions 1Lhey began to hunt about the vicinity. of where the girl might be?" 1 The robbers' retreat was a very snug OM, and unless a, "No; not exactly. But 1 think there is a gang of men knew exactly how to reach it nothing but an accident who have a hiding place somewhere pretty close to the wouW lead him to it. t-Own of Owl Flats." Accidents sometimes happen. "Yes?" "Yes. And I have reason to believe that Percy Pearsall hangs out there about half the time. Last night Pearsall was in town, drinking and gambling until quite late. When he left the saloon I fallowed him. He disappeared all of a sudden, about ten JJ1iles this side of the town. I hunted for over an hour, but could find no traces of him." "By Jove!" said Wild. "I believe you are right when you say you think there is some sort of a. hiding place for a gang around there, then. 1'll help you hunt for the place to-night I" CHAPTER IX. EMMA :MICIIELS ESCAPES. Young Wild West and Lansing reached Owl Flats with out mishap. Our hero noticed that the bodies of the two men he hacl shot when be came over, bad been taken away. From what Lansinghad told him, he was now of the opinion that Percy Pearsall was in league with the mail robberE, and be resolved t-0 pay a visit to the spot where he had disappeared, that very night. It chanced that Wild led his two companions into a ravine that ran almost parallel with the trail, after they had worked their way over the top of the ridge. It was while they were stealthily making their way through the ravine that Wild s uddenly heard a slight noise, almost at his side. Instantly he was all attention. He placed his fingers to his lips to warn his companions to remain perfectly quiet. It was a sort of peculiar scratching noise that he heard, and as he crouched there in a listening attitude, some loos ened dirt came tumbling down upon his shoulders. Some of it dropped on Jim and Lansing at the same time. Then all three realized that they were on the eve of a discovery of some kind. Young Wild West waited a couple of seconds, and then arose to a standing position. Just then something happened that gave him a big surprise. There was a muffied scream, followed by a crashing of loosened earth, anil then a rather heavy body fell upon him, knocking him in a confnsed heap to the ground. "My goodness!" cried the voice of a female. "Have I \

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YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. fallen in the hands of the very ones I was trying so hard to escape from, or is it friends I have found?" "Friends!" replied Lansing, quickly "Heavens! It ,is Miss Michels!" At this Wild sprang to his feet. He was just in time to see the young cavalryman catch the fainting form of a gi;rl_, and keep her from falling. "Mr. West," said Lansing, tremulously; "we have found the surgeon's step -daughter!" "What?" gasped Wild and Jim, in unison. "It is Emma Michels, just as sure as the stars are shin ing above our heads, or that the moon is riding the sky, yonder!" There was just a tinge oi the romantic in the words and actions of the cavalryman, which the two boys did not fail to note, in spite of the remarkable occurrence. But Young Wild West was not one to wonder very long, no matter what strange thing happened. "Jim," said he, in a whisper, "help Lansing to get the girl to the horses. Bring her to from her faint as soon as possible, and then start them off for the town." "Yes," answered Dart. "And what then?" "You come back here. We must find out what sort of a place it was she came from." That was enough for Jim. The next minute the pair of them were bearing the girl away from the spot with noiseless tread. They carried her all the way to the s pot where they had left the horses and then, as she had not recovered from her swoon yet, they took her to the bank of the river. By the aid of a water-soaked handkerchief they 500n brought her to. "Where am I?" cried the frightened girl, looking wildly around. "With friends, Miss Michel s," replied Lan s ing. "We \Vere looking for you, and very strange l y you fell right among us. Are you injured?" "Oh, no," was the reply. "I am so glad you came, Mr. Lansing. Please take me away from here as soon as pos sible." "I will do that soon enough. But fir s t are you able to tell us w):i.ere you came from when you dropped among u s so suddenly?" "Yes," she answered. "I am all right, now. Percy Pearsall has had me confined in a cave for several days, :md to-night I managed to finii;;h digging a hole through the end of the place I was kept in, and when I pushed my head and ahould ers through to find where I was. coming out, the ground gave way and I foll down. I remember of seeing your face, Mr. Lansing,_ and of hearing your voice, then I fainted, from joy, I guess. I will tell you all I know about the place." She did so in a very few words, winding up by saying: "There were, six men under the command of Percy Pear sall when I was brought here, but learned from the squaw who attended to my wants, that there are only four now. Two of them were shot by a Pony Expres s rider, whom they call Young Wild West." "Exaclly," said Jim Dart. "It was Young Wild West who broke your fall when you fell from the hole in the cave, miss. He is there waiting for me now, so you had better go on with Mr. Lansing. He will take you to the head quarters of the troopers, where you will be perfectly safe." "My-my father is not there, is he?" she asked hesi tatingly. "No," spoke up Lansing. "Your is not there. He is supposed to be at Fort Unity." "I am glad of that. It was he who bargained with Percy Pearsall to take me away and put me to death.'' "Ah I thought so." "The fiend!" added Jim. "Pearsall changed his mind about killing me alter he got me to his hiding place," went on the girl. "He de cided to betray the surgeon and force me to marry him." "He did, eh?" cried the cavalryman, fiercely. "Well, I guess he will never live to do that, Michels." "I would die before I would become his wife!" Emma Michels shuddered as she said this, and involun tarily drew closer to Lansing. The feelings the young couple had held toward each other had ripened into love. Jim noticed that they appeared as though they had been lovers, but he said nothing. "Lansing," he remarked, a few moments later, "you can carry Miss Michel s over to Owl Flats on your horse, can't you?" "Oh, was the reply. "Well start at once, then. I want to go back to Wild. He ha s some idea in hi s head, I guess, and I want to help him carry it out." "All right. We \\' ill b e off at once." Dart assisted to get the girl in positio n on the hor se's back, and then the young couple rode off. Jim then cautiously retraced his steps to the ravine where he had left Wild. He had no difficulty in finding the entrance to the ravine, s ince he had marked the s pot well in his mind. He dirl not neglect th e woodcraft he al ways employed, though, and approached thE: place wh e re be ha.d left the young prince of Saddle a.s carefully as though he knew there were mm watching to get a shot at him. ::Sut when he reacheq the _identical where the girl had tumbled from the opening in the cave, Wild was not there CHAPTER X. WILD .AND Jll\f DO SO:!lfE GREAT WORK. Dart and Lansing had scarcely disappeared from view with the unconscious girl, when Young Wild West suddenly heard a crackling sound right near him. Revolver in hand, he turned in the direction the sound came from, and then a big, burly form pounced upon him from behind.

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YOUN"G WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. 21 The weapon was wrenched from his grasp ancl a hand was placed over his mouth before he knew what had hap pened. He made a struggle to free himself, but it was in vain, for another man came to the assistance of the first one al most immediately, and then Wild was forced to the ground. In a very short space of time he was bound and gagged, and then, without so much as a word, his captors picked him up bodily and bore him away. But, though he was bound and gagged, the boy could see, by aid of the bright moonlight, that he was being carried out of the ravine to the trail. "I am in for it once mo,," he thought, as all his cool ness returned to him. if they don't kill me right off, I will fool them yet. I have been in such a fix before." That was a peculiar way to look a.t it, one might think, but Young Wild West was one of the sort who always look on the bright side o:f things, no matter how dark and gloomy they appear. The men who had 'SO neatly captured him were no others than Dadson and Burt, the hfo who had arrived at the headquarters in time to prevent the escape of Emma Mich els when she made the :first attempt. They had just left the retreat to ride over to Owl Flats, when they heard voices in the ravine, which was right close to the entrance of the secret cave. They quickly dismounted and tied their horse s, and then they sneaked toward the ravine from the side of the hill in the direction they had heard the sounds. It so happened that they did not get to the spot until after Jim and the cavalryman had left the girl. But they could see the figure of Young Wild West stand ing there in the moonlight, and they re s olved to capture him and take him before the captain. It is jus t possible that if they had 1.-nown be was Young Wild West they would have shot him down. But they did not, nor did they when they had s ucceeded in making a prisoner of him. The two outlaws did not look for the others they had heard talking; they hurried to get their prisoner intq the cave. And they did this in short order, the man on guard be ing very much astoni s hed when our hero was lugged inside in a helpless condition. "A spy, I reckon," observed Burt. "We caught him in ther ravine out there." "Take him in an' let ther captain see him," was the reply. "Maybe he knows him." The captive was then quickly carried through the passage into the cave, and when the light from the hanging oil lamp struck Wild's eyes he blinked like an owl. "Aha!" exclaimed a voice that our hero knew only too well. "What have we here?" "A feller we caught sneakin' around close by, cap," was the retort from Dadson. "A spy, eh? Well, I guess we will take care of him, foen. We will show him that he-What! By the living jingo! it is Young Wild West!" At this the other man in the cave a,nd the squaws came hurriedly forward. "It is Young Wild West, sure enough," resumed Percy Pearsall, for it was he who had spoken. "Well, I consider this is great luck!" "Well, we didn't 1.-now it was him when we pounced on him," said Burt. "Now I guess we kin git square on him for layin' two of us low." "Yes, I rather think we will square accounts with him," remarked Pearsall. "Young Wild West's Pony Express will surely come to an abrupt ending, and the ending will take place this very night. It is too bad for one to die so young, but he is altogether too soon for his fame. The g d die young, so they say, and that is the way it will be in this case." As Wild heard this remark he realized that the villains surely meant to kill him. But he di
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22 YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. "You are not getting crazy, are you?" Jlsked our hero, affecting surprise. "Oh, no!" "Just untie me, then. "You will never be untied alive." "Pshaw! Untie me, Pearsall. You are carrying the joke a little too ar now." The robber captain looked at the boy keenly. There was nothing about the face of Wild to indicate anything else than that he was fearless and just the least bit angry. But he knew well enough that he was in a tight place. He had not the least idea but that Pearsall would kill him. He was just the sort of man to do that. But Young Wild West meant to save himself, if thef was any way possible to do it. If acting coolly wduld .delay things any, he was the one to do it. "Mr. Pearsall," said the boy, a moment later, "I feel that you are playing a joke on me, but if it should be that ) 'OU are not, and that you really mean to do what you say, you will not live two hours. I am something of a seer, and I make that prediction with great sincerity." "Ha,. ha!" laughed the villain, though Wild noticed that the laugh was forced. "You had better untie me af once," resumed Wild. "I came around this part of the country to-night in search of the step-daughter of Surgeon Leon. I promised him that I would do all I could to find her, and I did the first thing after I got here." "You mean you think you have found her," /'Poke up Pearsall, sneeringly. "No thinking about it. I have found her, and she is now well on her way to Owl Flats. I have a way of doing things, you know, that never fails." 'fhe outlaw captain looked at him aghast. "Do you mean to say that you found' Emma Michels, and that she is now on her way to Owl Flats?" he asked. "That is juEt what I do mean. I wonder how it was that you did not find her. She was so close to you, too." Young Wild West had been working his wrists for the past minute, anJi he found that he could slip his bond;;. He was preparing for a desperate move. There were but three men in the place, including the guard, and six squaws. If he could get his hands free and grab a revolver from the belt of Percy Pearsall, he would willingly take his chances with the whole lot of them. Pearsall appeared to be puzzled and worried at the same time. "Stand here by him," he said to one of the men. "There is no danger of his running away, I guess, but you had better keep a sharp eye on him, for all that. I am going to see if what he said about the girl is true." As Pearsall moved toward a corner of the cave our hero shifted his. feet so he could brace himself. Though his captors had wound a rope about the upper part of his body, pinioning his arms, they had not done anything to his lower extremities. Wild had now worked the rope loose so he could free his hands the moment he desired to do it. The man :who stepped up to him for the purpose of keep ing an eye on him was a half breed. The belt he wore fairly bristled with weapons, giving him a formidable appearance. He was enough to frighten a timid person, but Young Wild West merely smiled at him when he came up close to him. As the robber captain unfastened the door to go to the apartment where he had left the girl captive, Wild sud denly lowered his head and butted the hal.f breed full in the stomach. Then he jerked his hands free and grabbed a pair of re volvers from the belt of the man as he was in the act of set tling to the ground with the wind completely knocked out of him from the force of the blow. The guard could not see what had heen done, so the only ones who did see it were the squaws. They at once set up a howl of alarm, and turning as quick as a wink, Pearsall saw what had happened. Re drew his revolver and began firing at our hero, who had now stepped bE:hind a jutting point of rock at the side o.f the cave. The captain had fired just three shots when the door he had unfastened flew open the active figure of a sprang out, a revolver in either hand. It was Jim Dart. "Rands up!" he cried. "Rands up, Pearsall, or down you go!" "That's ii, Jim!" called out Young Wild We;;t, who was now right in his element. "If he makes another move to show fight, drop him!" .Tim had come back to the spot where he had left Wild, and 'llnding him gone, he had acted on the first thought that came to him. This happened to be for him to climb up the side o f the ravine and enter ihe hole the girl had emerged from. It struck him that Wild had gone in the place that way, and that being the case, he would follow. Arid Jim had got there just in time to hear someone fool ing with the door. Ile held his revolver ready for instant use and waited. The next instant two reports rang out in quick succes sion from the other side of the door. Then Dart acted, and very quickly, at that. He flung open the door and came upon Percy Pear.;all in the. act of his chum. Jim's first impression was to shoot the scoundrel in ihe back, but he did not. J le simply called out to him lo hold his hands up, fvr his quick eye told him that Wild was really the master of the i;iination.

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YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. 23 But just then something happened that Jim had not figured on. Swiftly approaching footsteps were heard, and then the guard and the two men who had been sent out by the captain came rushing in. They comprehended the situation at a glance, it seemed, for they promptly began :firing. And when they began to fire Young Wild West and Jim Dart set in to return the compliment. Wild dropped the guard as he was in the act of dis charging his revolver :for the third time, and Jim put a bullet in the left shoulder of the fellow called Dalson. The shooting made considerable smoke in the low-ceil inged cave, and before he could be stopped Percy Prarsall darted into the cave Jim had emerged from so sudcicnly. Jim quickly worked his way over to Wild. The squaws were uttering frightened howls and impreca tions in their own tongue, and all was confusion. Burt immediately ran out oi the cave when he saw the guard and Dadson fall. He did not like to be around when such shooting was going on. 'l'.tc only man left in the place now was the half breed, and he sat upon the floor, too :frightened to get up and run. "See here," saicl Wild. addressing him; "just you tell the squaws to shut lip and clrop :their weapons, and get in a bunch in that corner over there. l they don't, and l)Cl' sist in at us, we will surely Creat them the samP as if they were men." The man promptly called out in the Indian tongue lo the squaws, and the moment thcv understood him they obeyed. "Now, then, you stand right where you are, and don't you dare to move :for the next five minutes. If you do you will be apt to go under the same as the other two :fellows di cl just now!" As our hero said this he started for the door the captain had gone through. Jim followed him. The hall breed, being without a shooter, since Wild had taken them from him, remained standing with his hands above his head; the squaws huclclled together in a corner as though they expected every minute to be their last on earth. Our two daring friends quickly ;vent into the apartment the girl captive had been confined in. Tb.e light that had been allowed the girl was still there, which showed that Pearsall had not taken the time to ex tinguish it in his hasty flight. The villain must have discovered the way to get out at the start, for the draperies were torn aside and the opening made by the girl was plainly visible. Wild unhesitatingly pushed his head through and looked out. In the moonlight he could see the bottom of the ravine about ten feet below very plainly. There was nothing living there. Drawing in his head, he thrust his feet through, and then allowed himself to slide down. / "All right!" he called out to Jim, as he struck the ground and recovered his balance. Then Jim quickly followed. Once in the ravine, they hurriedly made their way to the trail. They had just reached the mouth of the ravine when the sound of receding hoofs came to their ears. That there was more than one man riding away was plainly eviJent by the sounds "The scoundrels have got their horses somehow, and they are now making their escape. Let us get our horses and pursue them!" cried Wild. "Hurry, then!" Jim. They hastily made their way to the spot where their horses were hidden. 'l'hey had not been disturbed, and quickly untying them, thelirnounted. d!tt upon the trail they dashed, and turning, followed the escaping "illains, who had chosen to go in the direction of Owl Flats. But th.ough they rode at a fast gait it was a hcpcles8 race. The outlaws had got too good a start. "How many were there of them, do you think?" Jim asked, as they came to a brief halt and li stened. "I should say that there were not more than two or three," \Vild replied. "Well, they have got the bet of us, for I can no longer hear them." "Well, let them go for to-night, then. We will surely meet them again. Percy Pearsall is the sort of a man who does not give up very easily, if I am any judge of him. He will be looking for a chance to be revenged upon me." "And you will be waiting for him fo show him elf." "That's right. I want to take him alive if I can, :for I have an idea that he and the surgeon at the Fort are responible for all the robberies of the mail in thi section. I have an idea that this Pony Express or ours is going to break up the bui>iness around here for a while. We must land Pearsall and Surgeon Leon where they belong, and after that it will be very easy to dispose of the rest." "That's so," nodded Dart. They rode on into Owl Flats without meeting any one. As soon as they found that Emma "Michels was safely under the protection of the troopers they went to their hotel and turned in. CHAPTER XI. WILD IN ANOTTIJim TIGII'l' pJ,ACE. The morning following .Jim Dart started out with the mail, as usual, leaving Wild to take a rest at Owl Flats, It had been l eft to Wild to arrange the hour of leaving with the mails to snit himself; all the contract called for was that they should be delivered on time.

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24 YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. Our hero resolved to spend a good portion of his resting Pearsall that be met the party of Indians who had held in searching or Percy Pearsall. him up on his first trip with the mail. He had written a l etter to Surgeon Leon that morning in which he informed the villain that his s tep-daughter had been found, and ii:ivited him to get leave and come over to Owl Flats and see her, as she had decided not to return to her former home just then. This was sent with the regular mail, and Young Wild West smiled softly as he thought of how astonished the s ur geon would be to read the communication. He knew the man would do anything but come over to Owl Flats, or Emma had told him everything s he knew about the kidnapping scheme. But Wild did think that the surgeon would s urely see k the villain he bad bargained with, and he meant to be on the lookout or the pair of them. Shortly after Jim had gone he went over to the barracks had a talk with DaYid Lan s ing, the private, who had s o much intere s t in the search for the missing g 1. He had insisted the night before that this man should all the honor s in the rescue of the maiuen, and he told him be desired him to demand the reward that had been offered by the surgeon. He brought up the subject again this morning by saying: "Lansing, you must not forget to put in your claim for the reward. You were really the one who brought the girl away from the retreat of the outlaws. She got out herself, but you were the one who conveyed her to a place of safety. You claim this reward, and I will see that the scoundre l is forced to either pay it, or else leave the army in disgrace. I have a little influence with some of your superiors, and when I go over to the Fort, which I will do on my next trip wit;h the mail, I am going to ask for a promotion for you." "Thank you!" exclaimed Lansing earnestly. "I shall never forget you, Young Wild West." "I think you are deserving of promotion, or I should not recommend it. You would make a good second lieutenant, J have an idea." "Oh! it will be a long while before I get as high as that." "Perhaps not such a long while; a month, say." "Do you think you can bring that about, Mr. West?" ,"I have an idea that I can. I am going to do my best at it. I have noticed that you and the young lady are very much interested in each other, and I know enough of the ways of the world to realize that it would not be good policy for you to marry on the s alary of a private." "I should say not," and Lansing blushed like a school girl. "I suppose you have been aspiring to be something above a common private in the ranks some day?" "Yes; I hope soon to be a corporal, anyway." "Well, how is your record as a private?" "Very clean, I am proud to say." "Good Just leave the rest to me." Tt wa8 about noon on that same day when Wild was riding back to town after an un ucce ssful search for Percy One of them was a chief of the lower order, and when he saw who it was that halted among them he became very uneasy. "Paleface have soldiers arrest Iudians ?" be asked, shrug ging his shoulders. "No," answered Wild, "I did not bother about having you arrested. I thought I had puni s hed you myself for the way you acted the other day." "Paleface boy heap much brave. He carry the mails straight or the Great Father at \V ashiugton," s aid the chief, beginning to the young Priuce of the Saddle as only a red man can when he takes the notion. "That is right, chief. You are a good Indian when you are asleep. I will give you the credit for that. Now, I want you to an s wer me a question or two." "What paleface brave want to know?" "Where i s the man who ba s been robbing the stage coaches the past few month s and taking the mail bags?" "Me no lmow." "Yes, you do know. He liv ed in a cave with six men who had squaws for their wives." "Me know." "I thought you did. It will be all the better for you if you tell me all you know about Captain P ercy Pearsall." "Me meet him morning," said the Indian, after he had thought a moment. "Yes, I supposed you did." Wild said this, though he had not really thought so. "He and another paleface go that way," and he pyinted in the direction of Yellow Dust. "How long ago, chief?" "Two, three hours." "You are sure of this?" "Yes. He take blanket from red men; paint bis face and make look like red man." "Ah! be has disguised himself, bas he? Good!" "He cut off squaw's hair and put on bis head; stick feathers in like chief." "I am glad to hear that." "Then he ride off with other paleface, who fix himself like red man, too." "Very good, chief. You can go on to Owl Flats, and if you behave yourselves,' all of you, I won't say anything about what you did the other day." The Indians seemed to be glad when they heard this, and they promptly made off. "Well," mused Young Wild West, as be rode into town, "I have learned something this morning, anyway, for I feel that the redskin told me the truth. I wonder what he can be heading for Ow1 Flats for, unless it is to meet the sur geon? I must ride over there this afternoon and let Jim bring the mail back on the next trip. He will have enough rest, anyway, and can do it for this once. I want to be the one to bring the mail from Fort Unity to Yellow Dust

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YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXP.Kr .. 25 on Monday, anyway, so the order of things can be changed a, little." As soon as the boy had eaten his dinner he set out on his long ride along the trail to Yellow Dust. Spitfire was in perfect condition, and the noble animal wanted to go faster than his young master cared to let him just then. Wild meant to take it rather easy and reach the town about eight in the evening. It would be rather nervy for Pearsall to go to Yellow Dust in disguise, unleso;; it was a perfect one, and the boy could not bring himself to think it was a perfect one. Wild rode on:, and, without meeting any one on the road, reached Yellow Dust a little eight in the evening. Axter was surprised to sec him when he came in the hotel, and he went and called Jim Dart, who was in the back room reading. Jim was surprised to see him, too. He knew something must be in the wind. But he did not say anything, leaving it to his chum to speak first. "Well, what is new, Jim?" Wild asked when they were alone. "Surgeon Leon has left the Fort, so we heard this after noon," was the reply "Left, eh? How did it become known that he had left?" "That I don't know exactly. It is a rumor, but I guess there is lots of truth in it. The four men who were here the night you had the muss have deserted, also." "Ah! that looks suspicious. Now, I want to ask you a question. Have you seen a nything of two fellows disguised as Indians any time to-day ?" "No. Why?" Then Wild told him what he had learned. Jim was very much surprised The two had a long talk, and finally they came to the conclusion that the villains were lurking around some where. "They won't be apt to leave the vicinity of the trail)" said Wild. "They will want to be revenged upon me before they do that. We must be mighty careful, Jim. "You bet!" "I guess I will_borrow a fresh horse and ride over to the Fort. You will have to take the mail over to Owl Flats in the morning and bring it back. You can get a fresh horse over there." "Yes, I can do it easy enough. It does not tire me to ride. I could keep it up for a whole _week, if necessary "Well, as soon I get something to eat I am _going to ride over to the Fort. He soon got what he wanted in the line of eating and drinking, and then he took the horse the landlord provided him with, and after leaving instructions that his horse should b ready for him when he came back, he sallied forth. Somehow it occurred to the boy that he was going to have a lively time of it before he got back. This got into his head so strongly that he coul d not shake off the feeling. But never once did he change his mind about going. He was always ready for a lively time, and as he had seen many of them, they were nothing new to him. It was a moonijght night, and the horse he rode being a pretty good one, he rode fast. Forty miles is not so much of a journey to one who was used to roughing it in the mountains and on the plains 'rhe nearer he got to the cabin of the hermit, the more determined our hero became to stop at it. He had made sure that Gunnison was not in Yellow Dust before he set out, and that made him think that he might know something about the surgeon and the rest of the deserters. The cabin might be a sort of headquarters for them. Wild rode on through the moonlight, halting occasionally to listen, for he thought it might be possible that someone was following him. But no such thing came to pass, and at length he came in sight of the lone cabin. Halting a few yards from it, he tied his horse in a clump of trees and proceeded on foot to the little building. There. was no light coming from the windows, but that did not prevent him from going to the door. After listening for a minute and not hearing anything to indicate that there was anybody inside, he gave a knock. Almost instantly he heard someone stirring But whoever it might be, the door was not opened Wild gave another knock. Then came the shuffling of hurried footsteps, and the next moment the door was unlocked and thrown open. In the moonlight Wild saw the figure of Gunnison stand ing before him. The old man's face was deathly pale and he was trem bling violently Our hero pushed him gently aside and stepped into the cabin. "I am so glad you are here to save me, Young Wild West!" cried Gunnison, bursting out excitedly. "They seen you comin', an' they made me-" A pistol shot rang out, cutting the words short. The hermit dropped to the floor with a bullet in his heart just as the light from a bull's-eye lantern was flashed in Wild's face. Our hero caught a glimpse of five revolvers which were leveled at him, but nothing daunted, he opened fire, know ing full well that he had walked into a trap. He shot a man dead in his tracks, but before he could again press the trigger of his six-shooter the weapon was knocked from his grasp and he was upset. With a crash he landed upon the floor, and then half a dozen eager hands seized him. "I guess we have got you now, my young Pony Express rider!" hissed the voice of Surgeon Leon "You have come to your doom, Young Wild West!"

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26 YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. Wild made a violent struggle to free himself from them, but it was useless. They held him down and quickly disarmed him. "Tie him up and gag him," said the surgeon; and the four men with him were those who had deserted to link their fortunes with him in a career of crime. There was plenty of rope handy, and they soon had our hero lying helpless on the floor. "Now, then, Young Wild West," remarked the scoundrel, as he proceeded to make an improvised gag from l\ piece of the bed clothing he f ound in the room, "have you anything to say before you roast alive?" "Do y<\ur worst!" exclaimed Wild. "You will find that I will never beg for mercy from such as you. I might in form you, though, before you gag me, that your step daughter has been found and that she is in safe hands." ."You need not tell me that; I imagined that such was the case. I also imagined that you were going to break up my little enterprise, and I have been waiting here for you to come along, for something seemed to tell me that you would come." As the villain said this he glared at the helpless boy with fury in his eyes. "Young Wild West, your doom i s sealed," he went on. "You have meddled with business that did not concern you, and you are going to roast alive for doing s o It was a sorry day for you when you agreed to carry the mails from Fort Unity to Owl Flats. When you took that step you entered into the Valley of the Shadow of Death. I would like to be able to hear your cries as you take your departure from the gre e n earth, but there are others who might hear and come to your help; so I will gag you." Without anything further the gag was placed in the helpless boy's mouth, and then, rising to his feet, the scoundrel turned to his companions and said: "Set the cabin on fire, men! He has shot one of u s and we will let the body be cremated along with that of the old man whose greed for money brought on his d e ath Have you got the hermit's trea sure?" "Yes," came the reply from one of the deserters. "Then light the bunch oi rags and paper, and we will away to meet Percy Pearsall and 1 his men!" The next minute the entire inte rior of the cabin was in a blaze, and Young Wild West was left to a horrible fate CHAPTER XII. OONCUJSION. When Young Wild West saw the blaze all around him he was on the verge of giving himself up for lost. As hopeful and courageous as he was, it seemed that death certainly was at hand now. He struggled a s he never bad before to break the bonds, and the efforts he made to cry for help were something fierce. Surgeon Leon was last to leave the burning cabin, and as he went he cast one look of diabolical satisfaction at the struggling boy on the floor. "Good-bye, Young Wild West!" he called out. "In a few minutes you will begin to roast I wish you a pleas ant journey to the bourne from which no traveler returns!" The rags and papers that had been piled up burned rap idly, and as Leon disappeared from the view of the agonized Prince of the Saddle the bed clothing became ignited. As the bed that had been used by the hermit was but three feet from Wild, it seemed that it would soon be all over with him But man proposes, God disposes That is.an old saying that is as true as it is old. Above the crackling of the flam e s Young Wild West sud denly heard the sounds of firing. There magic in the s ound, it seemed, for the brave boy did something he had not thought of before. He began rolling his body towards the door. Right through a blazing mass of paper he went, regard less of setting his clothes on fire. He reached the in an exhausted condition only to find that it had been closed "Heaven help me!" though Young Wild West. "Unless help comes quickly I am surely doomed!" But Young Wild West was not destined to die in such a cruel and heartless manner. Though the fringe on hi buckskin trousers had become ignited, and the flames were all around him, there was help at hand. Suddenly the door opened again s t him with such force as to send him rolling over into the blaze, and then--A pair of hands seized him and dragged him out int o the open air. "Thank God!" exclaimed the voice of Jim Dart. "Wild, old fellow, I am on time!" Then Jim, for it was surely he, began beating out the fire that had taken possess ion of the boy' s clothing. And he s ucceeded before even a s mall blister had been burned. Wild, perfectly cons cious of what was taking place, felt him s elf dragged away .from the s corching flames ; then the gag was lorn from hi s mouth and a keen knife s evered the bonds that h e ld him powerless. The blaze from the burning cabin lit up the scene a s with the glare of the noonday rnn, and a s Wild g ot upon his feet he gave a quick glance around for a sight of hi s enemies. But they were gone! "Thank y ou, .Tim!" he said, sei;i;ing hi s chum by the hand. "Yon were juf: in tim e ." "And I am ju s t a s glad a s you are that I was, was the f ervent r e ply. "Some thing told me to follow you to-night and I did so. I am orry the s coundr e l s g ot away, but I had to get you out of that blaze. I wounded one41lf them, though 1 am quite certain." "How did you know I was in the cabin?" "I didn't know it, but I thought you must be when I saw

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YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. 27 the glare of 1.he fire and caught a glimpse of four men mounting i.heir horses to ride away." "And t4en you opened fire on them?" "Yes. i knew they must have set the place on fire, or they would not be leaving the scene so quickly; and I also came to the conclusion that you were inside the cabin, so I just let them have it. They never answered my shots, but rode on in the direction of Yellow Dust as fast as they could get their horses to go." "Well, nothing can save the cabin now. '11here are two bodies inside it, too. One is that o.f Gunnison and the other is that of one of the deserters from the Fort. The surgeon shot the hermit, and I dropped the other fellow before they downed me. I was taken completely by surprise, and it was no use. 1 I had known those fellows were in there when I knocked at the door I would surely have dropped or captmed the whole five of them." "Well, I suppose we had better try and catch them, hadn't we?" "Yes." "Where is your horse?" "Right over behind those trees over there." Jim Da:rt shook his head at this. "That is where the villains started from," said he. Jim caught his hon;e by the bridle, and then Wild led the way to the clump of trees. His horse was not there "They have taken the horse with them!" he cried. "Well, they have just the least bit the best of it yet, but I will win .oul in spite of if I don't! I am alive yet; and that is more than they expect, no doubt." "What will we do now?" queried Dart, who was at a loss which way to proceed. "The best thing we can do is to ride over to the Fort. Then all three of us will start out with the mail. We will change horses at Yellow Dust as we go, and do the same coming back, if it is necessary for us all to come back. I am going to wind up the career of the mail robbers before I am twenty-four hours older. Surgeon Leou and his men will meet Percy Pearsall, just as sure as two and two are four. We must hunt them now to the ish." "And carry the mail at the same time." "certainly. We must get the mail through on time, no matter what happens." When they had made sure that. Wih.l's horse was nowhere to be found, the pair of them got upon Jim's steed and set out for Fort Unity. They proceeded at an easy pace, as they did not wish to overtax the animal. The Fort was reached in due time, and the officer in charge was mL1ch surprised to s e ihem. But when he heard all that had happened to them he was astonished. ''So it has sifted down to this slate, has it?" he observed. "Well, I guess Surgeon Leon will not get very far. I will send out a detachment at once to scour the country for him." "Andwe will see what we can do when we start o u t with the mail in the morning," added Wild The next morning at daybreak Young Wild West, Chey enne Charlie and Jim Dart stood waiting for the mai l b ags The mail from the east had come in lU;te the night before, and it had taken some little time to sort and get ready what was to go on the route. Wild had been furnished with a good horse, but he was waiting till he got upon the back of his own Spitfire once more. "The villains will surely be laying for us," he told the officer in charge. "The surgeon no doubt thinks it was possible for me to escape from the burn'ng building, and he will run any sort of a risk to have his revenge It is the same way with Pearsall; he will leave no stone unturned till he gets satisfaction, or is killed or captured. We will meet them surely, if the detachment you sent out to hunt them up does not catch them." "Well, if you do come across them, bring the deserters in alive, if any way possible," was the reply. "Now, then, off with you! The mail must get through on time, you know." Wild had the mail bags swung over the borrowed horse, tind he led the "ay, while the soldiers at the Fort uttered a cheer. There was something very dashing about the handsome young Prince of the Saddle, and no wonder he excited the admiration of the crowd! When our three friends reached the scene 0 the fire they found a detachment that had been sent out half an hour before tearing away the ashes and debris, so they could recover the charred bodies. Young Wild West did not stop there. He was in a hurry to get through with the get as far as he cou1d with it before he met his enemies. If he did med them, thcn:i would be more or less of a delay. On thundered the three riders, and Yell ow Dust grew gradually nearer. And all the while they were on the alert or danger. They did not know at what minute a bullet would come whistling past their ears from some hidden quarter. Their horses were steaming and flecked with foam when they drew up in front oi the Axter House, at Yellow Dust. In less than .five minutes they changed hors .es, and then proceeded on their way. Wild pad taken time to ask the landlord if he had seen anything of the ones he hoped to meet, but received a reply in the negative. The young dead-shot was now mounted on his swift steed Spit.fire. He felt more at home when the sorrel was under him. When they had ridden about fifteen miles, a puff of smoke,suddenly came from a little grove on their left, and a reportlfollowed. Neither of the three heard the whizz 0 a bullet, so they concluded that it had been badly aimed, if they were the target.

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28 YOUNG WILD WEST'S PONY EXPRESS. Another shot followed a few seconds later, and this time a bullet hit Cheyenne Charlie's horse in the shoulder and dropped the animal, the rider being thrown over its head. "Ah exclaimed Young Wild West; "now the fun begins. Just drop a couple of shots there, boys!" Jim obeyed instantly, and as soon as Charlie got up he followed suit. A wild yell rang out at this, and the next instant a mixed crowd of a dozen men came dashing toward them from the cover of the trees. Some of them were Indians and some whites, the latter in the majority, Wild's practiced eye told him. It was in a little hollow where they had halted, and with the utmost coolness Young Wild West ordered his horse to lie down. It would be a very poor horse of the frontier that did not know what the command to lie down meant, especially when it came from its master. Spitfire obeyed just as if he had been a dog. Jim had a little more difficulty in getting his steed down. among them. can t fool me." Pearsall is disguised as an Indian, but he "Me, either," answered Charlie. "I can tell him, too," Jim observed. "Drop them all but the two, then, if they keep on coming!" They did keep on coming, and in less than ten seconds all t11e saddles but two were emptied. The two, who had at last concluded that it was life or death with them now, were Pearsall and Leon. Wild was on his horse's back in a twinkling. He was going to run them down. The desperate villains, having emptied their rifles, now began firing their revolvers at the pursuing boy. But they were simply wasting their shots. Wild was waiting for them to do this. One minute later, and he saw them in the act of reload ing their weapons. "Stop that he called out, leveling his rifle at them. "Surrender now, or you will both be dead men!" '.rhe villains thought he surely meant to shoot, so they gave up. It was not his own, and that made it harder for him. Fifteen minutes later they were bound to the backs of But the horse got down after a few second s with the bultheir horses and on their way to Fort Unity, under the Jets from the advancing foe whistling all around him. charge of Jim Dart and Cheyenne Charlie, who had easily "Boys!" exclaimed Young Wild West, "when I give the found a horse to suit h.im from those that were galloping word I want you to begin on that gang. Charlie, you take around riderless. the man on the left and shoot toward the right; Jim, you I Young Wild West went on through with the mail to Owl begin in the center and shoot on both sides. I will take Flats. care of the other end." That was the last of the mail robbers in that section !;'_ The bullets were flying around them like hail now, but the country. they were not the least disconcerted. Young Wild W esl's Pony Express had been a success, and They knew it was hard for the villains to hit them from it had also been the means of breaking up a dangerous gang their horses while they crouched in the hollow. and bringing a traitor to the Government to his just deserts. "Now give it to them!" Emma Michels had no recourse to go to law with her As our hero gave the word three rifles began cracking. step-father, for he was found guilty at a court-martial and The villains must have been desperate-so desperate, in shot, as was Percy Pearsall. fact, that they lost all caution, for they were riding in a The latter made a clean breast of everything before he semi-circle to certain destruction. died, showing what a perfidious villain the surgeon had At the first three shots as many of them tumbled from been. the saddle. There is nothing more to add to this story, except that Crack crack crack Three more went down before they could turn from their onward rush. "Steady now !" said Wild; "they have all got to go under or be captured. I .see the surgeon and Percy Pearsall Young Wild West and his two partners ran the Pony Ex press to the end of the month, and received the money Wild s contract called for. And during that time they never once failed in "Getting 1.he Mail Through on Time." THE END. Read "YOUNG WILD WEST ON THE BIG DIVIDE; OR, THE RAID OF THE RENEGADES," which will be the next number (35) of "Wild West Weekly." SPECIAL NOTICE: All back numbers of this weekly are always in print. If you cannot obtain them from any newsdealer, send the price in money or postage stamps by mail to FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 24 UNION SQUARE, NEW YORK, and you will receive the copies you order by return mail.

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SECRET SERVICE OLD A.ND YOUNG KING BRADY, DETECTIVES. PRICE 5 CTS. 32 PAGES. COLORED COVERS. ISSUED WEEKLY LAT.EST ISSUES: 142 '.I/he Bradys and the Broker; oi:,_ The Plot to Steal a Fortune. 143 The Bradys as Reporters; or, working for a Newspaper. 144 The Bradys and the Lost Ranche ; or, The Strange Case In Texas. 145 The Bradys and the Signal Boy; or, the Great Train Robbery. 146 The Bradys and Bunco Blll ; or, The Cleverest Crook In New York. 147 The B,radys and the Female Detective ; or, Leagued with the Customs Inspectors. 148 The Bradys and the Bank Mystery ; or, The Search for a Stolen Mllllon 149 The Bradys at Cripple Creek; or, Knocking out the "Bad Men." 150 The Bradys and the Harbor Gaug; or, Sharp Work after Dark. 151 The Bradys in Five Points; or, The Skeleton in the Cellal"; 152 Fan Toy, the Opium Queen; or, The Bradys and the Chinese Smugglers. 153 The Bradys' Boy Pupil ; or Sifting Strange Evidence. 154 The Bradys In the laws of Death; or, Trapping the Wire Tap pers. 155 The Bradys and the Typewriter; or, The Office Boy's Secret. 156 The Bradys and the Bandit King ; or, Chasing the Mountain Thieves. 157 The Bradys and the Drug Slaves; ol:', The Demons ot Chinatown. 158 The Bradys and the Anarchist Queen ; or, Running Down the Reds.'' 159 The Bradys and the Hotel Crooks ; or, The Mystery of Room 44. 160 The Bradys and the Wharf Rats; or, Lively Work In the Har bor. 161 The Bradys and the House of Mystery ; or, A Dark Night's Work. 162 The Bradys' Winning Game ; or, Playing Against the Gamblers. 163 The Bradys and the Mall Thie v es; or, The Man In the Bag. 164 The Bradys and the Boatmen ; or, The Clew Found In the River. 165 The Bradys after the Grafters ; or, The Mystery In the Cab. 166 The Bradys and the Cross-Roads Gang; or, tile Great Case In Missouri. 167 The Bradys and Mies Brown ; or, The Mysterious Case In So ciety. 168 The Bradys and the Factory Girl ; or, The Secret of the Poisoned Envelope. 169 The Bradys and Blonde Bill; or, The Diamond Thieves of Malden Lane. 170 The Bradys and the Opium Ring; or, The Clew In Chinatown. 171 The Bradys on the Grand Circuit; or, Tracking the Light Harness Gang. 172 The Bradys and the Black Doctor; or, The Secret of the Old Vault. 173 The Bradys and the Girl In Grey ; or, The Queen ot the Crooke. '"T14 The Bradys and the Juggler; or, Out with a Variety Show. 175 The Bradys and the Moonshiners; or, Away Down In Tennessee. 176 The Bradys in Badtown ; or, The Fight for a Gold Mine. 177 The Bradys In the Klondike; or, Fenetlng Out the Gold Thieves. 178 The Bradys on the East Side; or, Crooked Work In the Slums. 179 The Bradys and the "Hlghblnders"; or, The Hot Case In China-. town. 180 The Bradys and the Serpent Ring; or, The Strange Case of the Fortune-Teller. 181 The Bradys and "Silent Sam" ; or, Tracking the Deaf and Dumb Gang. 182 The Bradys and the "Bonanza" King; or, Fighting the Fakirs In -Frisco. 183 The Bradys and the Boston Banker; or, Hustling for Millions In the Hub. 184 The Bradys on Blizzard Island; or, Tracking the Gold Thieves of Cape Nome. 185 The Bradys In the Black Hllls; or, Their Case In North Dakota. 186 The Bradys and "Faro Frank" ; or, A Hot Case In the Gold Mines. For Sale by All Newsdealers, or will be Sent to An'Ji FRA!lK 'l'OUSEY, Publishex-, 187 The Bradys and the "Rube" ; or, Tracking the Confidence Men. 188 The Bradys as Firemen; or, Tracking a Gang of Incendiaries. 189 The Bradys in the Oil Country ; or, 'l'he Mystery of the Giant Gusher. 190 The Bradys and the Blind Beggar; or, The Worst Crook of All. 191 The Bradys and the Bankbreakers; or, Working the Thugs ot Chicago 192 The Bradys and the Seven Skulls; or, The Clew That Was Found In the Barn. 193 The Bradys In Mexico; or, 'l'he Search for the Aztec Treasure Honse. 194 The Bradys at Black Run ; or, Tralllng the Coiners of Candle Creek 195 The Bradys Among the Bulls and Bears; or, Working the Wires In Wall Street. 106 The Bradys and the King; orbWorklng for the Bank of England. 107 'l'he Bradys and the Duke's lamonds; or, The Mystery of the Ya cht. 198 The Bradys and the B e d Rock Mystery; or, Working in the Black Hills. 199 The Bradys and the Card Crooks ; or, Working on an Ocean Liner. 200 The Bradys and "John Smith"; or, The Man Without a Name 201 The Bradys and the Manhunters; or, Down in the Dismal Swamp. 202 The Bradys and the High Rock Mystery ; or, The Secret of the Seven Steps. 203 The Bradys at the Block House ; or, Rustling the Rustlers on the Frontier. 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 The Bradys In Baxter Street; or, The House Without a Door. The Bradys Midnight Call ; or, The Mystery of Harlem Heights. The Bradys Behind the Bars; or, Working on Blackwells Island. The Bradys and the Brewer's Bonds; or, Working on a Wall Street Case. The Bradys on the Bowery ; or, The Searc h for a Missing Girl. The Bradys and the Pawnbioker; or, A Very Mysterious Case. The Bradys and the Gold Fakirs; or, Working for the Mint. at Bonanza Bay ; or, Working on a Mllllon The Bradys and the Black Riders ; o r, The Mysterious Murdei: at Wild town. 213 an<' .cnator Slam; or, W orking With Washlngtoo 214 and the Man from Nowhere ; or, Their V ery Hardest 215 and "No. 99"; or, The Search for a Mad Mllllon-216 The Bradys at Baffin's Bay ; or, The Trail Which Led to the Arctic. l 217 The Bradys and Glm Lee ; or, Working a Clew In Chinatown. 218 The Bradys and the Yegg" Men; or, Seeking a Clew oD the Road. 219 The Bradys and the Blind Banker; or, Ferrett!ng out the Wall StreeU Thieves. 220 The Bradys and the Black Cat; or, Working Among the Card Crooks of Chicago. 221 The Bradys and the Texas Oil King; or, Seeking a Clew in the South wes t 2 22 The Bradys and the Hawk; or, New York at Midnight. 2 23 The Bradys in the Bad Lands; or. Hot Work in South Dakota. 2 2' 'l'he Bradys at Breakneck Hall; or, The Mysterious House on the Harlem. 225 The Bradys and the Fire Marshal; or, Hot Work in Hornersville. 2 26 The Bradys and the Three Sheriffs; or, Doing a Turn in 2 2 7 The Bradys and the Opium Smugglers; or. A Hot Trail on the Pacific Coast. 2 28 Tlie Bradys' Boomerang; or, Shaking Up the Wall Street Wire Te.p pers .. Address on Receipt of Price, 5 Cents per Copy, by; 24 Union Square, Bew York, IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS or our .. libraries, and cannot procure them from newsdealers, they can be obtained from this office direct. Cut out and fl.11 in the following Order Blank and send it to us with the price of the books you want and we will send them to you by return mail. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN '.rHE SAME AS MONEY . . . . . . FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York. 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luud W1olly-By Sub1criplion $2.50 per year. l!Jnloretl al Soco111l Clau Maller ol It.a No1 Yori; ,...,,, O{/(tt, _1'.,ntbr 'I, 1808, &, No. 262. NElV YORI\. JUNE 10,

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.A. CONTAINS ALL SORTS OF STORIES. EVERY STORY COMPLETE. 32 PAGES. BEAUTIFULLY COLORED COVERS. PRICE 5 CENTS. LATEST ISSUES: 221 The Demon of the Deep; or, Above and Beneath the Sea. By Tb RI f Y R h Capt. Tbos. H. Wilson. 184 From Cowboy to Congressman; or, e se o a oung anc 222 Jack Wrlgbt and His Electric Deers; or, Fighting the Bandits of man. By H. K. Shackleford. the Black Hllls. By "Nopame. 185 Sam Spark, the Brave Young Fireman; or, Always the First 223 At 12 o'clock; or, The Mystery of the Lighthouse. A Story of the on Hand. By Ex-Fire Chief Warden. Revolution. By Gen. Jas. A. Gordon. 186 The Poorest Boy In New York, and How He .Became Rieb, By 224 The Rival Boat Clubs; or, The Boss School at Beechwood. By 187 J Nk. SW. WI obotd, tthhe YBoungI Ametrlcan ActoHr. ting f a Sunken I Allyn Draper. the ac r g e oy oven or: or, un or 225 The Haunted House on the Hudson; or, the Smugglers of Treasure. By "Noname." Sound. By Jae. C. 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By "Noname." .1.;;:; lack Wright and His Electric Turtle; or, Chasing the Pirates 232 l'hlladclphla Phll; or, From a Bootblack to a Merchant. By How of the Spanish Malo. By "Noname." nrd Austin. 194 Flyer Dave, the Boy Jockey; or, Riding the Winner. By Allyn 233 Custer's Last Shot; or, The Boy Trailer of the Little Horn. By Draper. An Old Scout. 195 The '.l.'wenty Gray Wolves; or, Fighting A Crafty King. By 234 The Rival Rangers; or, The Sons of Freedom. By Gen. Jae. A. Howard Austin. Gordon. 196 The Palace of Gold; or, The Secret of a Lost Race. By Richard 235 Old SlxthNlne; or, '"'he Prince of Engineers. By Jas. C. Merritt. R. Montgomery. 236 A Fl W b. T B M 197 Jack Wright's Submarine Catamaran; or, The Phantom Sblp of mong t e re ors ippers; or, wo New York oys In exlco. the Yellow Sea. Hy "Noname." By Howard Austin. 198 A Monte Cristo at 18; or, From Slave to Avenger. By Allyn 237 Jack Wright and bis Electric Sea Motot; or, The Search for a Drifting Wreck. By "Noname." 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A Story 25 7 Scout, or, Fire1ting the Redskins. By An Old Scout. of a Smart New York Boy. By H. K. Shackleford. 217 "I." A Story of Strange Adventure. By Rlch11.rd R Mont2 5 8 Jack Wright's Demon oft e Plaine; or, Wild Adventures Among the Cowboys. gomery. 2 59 The Merry Ten; or, The Shadows of a Social Club. By Jno. B. Dowd. 218 Jack Wright, The Bo[ Inventor, and His Under-Water Ironclad; 2 60 Dan Driver, the Boy Engineer of the Mountain Express; or, Rail or, The, o Sandy Sea. By roading on the Demer and Rio Grande. 219 Gerald 0 Grady s Grit, or, The Branded Irish Lad. By ,Allyn 2 6 l Silver Sam of Santa Fe; or, The Lion's Treasure Cave. By An Old Draper. Scout. 220 Through Thick and Thin; or, Our Boys Abroad. By Howard Aus 2 Jack Wright and bis Electric Torpedo Ram; or, The Sunken Olt7 of tin. the AMantlc. By "Noname." 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SECRET SERVICE, NOS ............................................................ THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76, Nos ....................................... .......... Ten-Cent Hand Books, Nos ............................................ .. Name .......................... Street and No .................... Town ......... State ... ......... -..

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W ORK AND WIN. The Best ""V\Teekly Published. At.i:t. THE N"C'M:SEB.S AB.E At.WAYS IN P:a.IN'I' : READ ONE AND Y U WILL READ THEM ALL. LATEST ISSUES: 188 Fred Fearnot and the or, The Trouble at Snapping 137 Fred Great Plea; or, His Defence of the "Moneyless Man." Shoals. 189 Fred Fearnot's Big Hunt; OI', Camping on the Columbia River. 190 Fred Fearnot's Hard Experlonce; or. Roughing It at Red Guieb. 1111 Fred Fearnot Stranded; or, How Terry Olcott Lost the Money. rn2 Fred Fearnot In the Mountains; or, Held at Bay by Bandits. 193 Fred Fearnot's Terrible Risk; or, Terry Olcott's Reckless Ven-138 Fred Fearnot at Princeton ; or, The Battle of the Champions. 139 Fred Fearnot's Circus; or, High Old Time at New Era. 140 Fred Fearnot's Camp Hunt; or, The White Deer of tbe 141 and His Gulde; or, The Mystery of the Mountain. 142 Fred Fearnot's County Fair; or,1. The Battle of the Fakirs. 143 Fred Fearnot a Prisoner ; or, \.:apturecl at Avon. ture. 194 Fred Fearnot's Last Card ; or, The Game that Saved His Life. 195 Fred Fearnot and the Professor; or, The Man Who Knew It All. 196 Fred Fearnot's Big Scoop ; or, Beating a Thousand Rivals. 144 Fred Fearnot and the Senator; or, Breaking up a Scheme. 145 Fred Fcarnot and the Baron ; or, Calling Down a Nobleman. 146 Fred Fearnot and the Brokers; or, Ten Days In Wall Street. 147 Fred Fearnot's Little Scrap; or, The Fellow Who Wouldn't Stay 197 Fred Fearnot and the Raiders; or, Fighting for His Belt. 198 J)'red Fearnot's Great Risk; or, One Chance In a Thousand 199 Fred Fearnot as a Sleuth; or, Running Down a Sllck Villain. Whipped. 148 Fred Fearnot's Greatest Danger ; or, Ten Days with the Moon-200 Fred Fearnot's New Deal; or, Working for a Banker. 201 Fred Fearnot In Dakota; or, The Little Combination Ranch 202 Fred Fearnot and the Road Agents; or, Terry Olcott's Coo 149 and the Kidnappers; or, Traltlng a Stolen Clllld. 150 Fred Fearnot's Quick Work; or, The Hold-Up at Eagle Pass. 151 Fred Fearnot at Silver Gulch; or, Defying a Ring. Nerve. 203 Fred Fearnot and the Amazon ; or, The Wild Woman of the Plains. 152 Fred Fearnot on the Border; or, Punishing the Mexican Horse s I 204 Fred Fearnot's Training School ; or, How to Make a Living. 153 Charmed Life; or, Running the Gauntlet. 205 Fred Fearnot and the Stranger; or, The r,ong Man who was 154 Fred Fearnot Lost ; or, Missing for Thirty Days. Short. 155 Fred Fearnot's Rescue; or, The Mexican Pocahontas. 206 Fred Fearnot and the Old Trapper; or, Searching for a Lost 156 Fred Fearnot and the "White Caps" ; or, A Queer Turning of Cavern. the '!'ables. 207 Fred Fearnot In Colorado; or, Running a Sheep Ranch. 157 Fred Fearnot and the Medium; or, Having Fun with the 208 Fred Fearnot at the Ball; or, The Girl In the Green Mask. "Spirits." Ever 209 Fred Fearnot and the Duellist; or, The Man Who Wanted to 158 Fred Fearnot and the "Mean Man"; or, The Worst He l?lght. Struck. 210 Fred Fearnot on the Stump; or, Backing an Old Veteran. 159 Fred Fearnot's Gratitude; or, Up a Plucky Boy. 211 Fred Fearnot's New Trouble; or, Up Against a Monopoly. 160 Fred Fearnot Fined ; oi:,. The Judge s Mistake. 212 Fred Fearnot as Marshal ; or, Commanding the Peace. 161 Fred Fearnot's Comic vpera; or, The Fun that Raised the 213 Fred Fearnot and "Wally"; or, The Good Natured Bully of 162 and the Anarchists; or, The 13urnlng of the Red Badger. Flag. 214 Fred Fearnot and the Miners ; or, The Trouble At Coppertown. 163 Fred l?earnot's Lecture Tour; or, Going it Alone. 215 Fred Fearnot and the "Bllnl Tigers" ; or, ore Ways Than One. 164 Fred Fearnot's "New Wild West"; or, Astonishing the Old East 216 Fred Fearnot and the Hin loo; or, The Wonderful Juggler at 165 Fred Fearnot In Rnssia; or, Banished by the Czar. Coppertown. 166 I'red Fearnot in Turkey; or, Defying the Sultan. 217 Fred Fearnot Snow Bpund or, Fun with Pericles Smith. l.67 Fred Rearnot In Vienna; or, The 'l'rouble on the Danube. 218 Fred Fearnot's Great fo'ire Fight; or, Rescuing a Prairie School. 168 Fred Fearnot and the Kaiser ; or, In the Royal Palace at Berlin. 219 Fred Fearnot In New Orleans ; or Up Against the Mafia. 169 Fred Fearnot in Ireland; or, Watched by the Constabulary. 220 Fred F!'arnot and the IJaunted House; or, Unravellug a (}reat 170 Fred Fearnot Homeward Bound; 1r, Shadowed by Scotland Mystery. Yard. 221 Fred Fearnot on the Mississippi ; or, The Blackleg's Murderous 171 Fred Fearnot's Justice; or, The Champion of the School Marm. Plot. 172 Fred Fearnot and the Gypsies; or, '!'he Mystery of a Stolen 222 Fred Fearnot's Wolf Bunt; or, A Battle for Life In the Ill!rk. Child. 223 Fred Fearnot and the "Greaser" ; or, The Fight to De1
PAGE 34

"" '.'i.\1'01.EO'.'i'S m:.\CU. 1 )1 A:\U UH UOtl h .. -t. nnt&.lnlni.: t ht! great 11rac l e o r hum.111 l .. 141111!>. also lhttrue nr alnh1HI Ult\ l.i ll "' dl'l'UIJIS. Wllh charms, et. tw1u11Jes, and curluus Kame u( card.a. No. 2. llOW TO DO THICKS.-The great book or magi(' and card tricks. contalnlni; full lntructlon nn all lenc..11111.; card trh'ks o r the day, the must udar rnaglrat lllu-1ion1 n11 tti:rtorine d Uy our e\.ery buy should obtain a copy or this book. So. a. 1101\' TO l'l.IU'l'.-The arts and wllfl'IJ or Hli tatlun are fully by this lltt le hf)uk. Hesldt"s the various met hods or ;1andl.:t'1Thler. fan. g 'o\e, parasol, window and I hat Hlrtatton, It con1nlns a full llat or the language and sentiment o r ttowen. No. 4 llOW TO DA'.'iCE ts 1he title or thl little book. It contains rull lnatructlon.1 tn the art of dancing, etiquette In the ball room and at parties, how to dre!a, and full dlrectfone for calling otr In all popular aquare dances. No. G. llOW TO MAKE LOVE.-A com plete guide to lo\e, courtship and mnrrlnge, giving ee11111lhle acl\'tce. rulea and etiquette to be obaen t"d No. 6. llOW TO BECOl\tE AN ATIU.ETE. -Giving tt1ll inatructton for the use or dumbbells, Indian clubs parallel bars, h orlzuntal bare and varlou1 other methods o f & gooa, healthy muscle; containing over sixty tlluatrallona 1"11. 7 HOW TO KEEP BIRDS.-Handfrnely llluslrated and contalnlne full lnalructlona for the management and training of the canary, moC'klnS'blrd. bobolink, blackbird. paroquet parrot, etc. Xo. I!. 110\\' TO BECOME A VENTRll.OQt1sT.-Uy Hnrry Kennedy, Every lntellthoy this book of Instructions can rna11ter : h e nrl, nnI create any amount or run tor himself Bild '.'io 10 llOW TO BOX.-The art or selrdelenPe maae ea8y. Containing O\'er thirty tlll1atratlon1 of guards, blows, and the ent poslllnns or a good boxer. E\'ery IJoy ahould 01J1oln one of these useful and tnstruc th o books. as It wlll teach you how to box without an l11ii:1ructor. )';o. 11, llOW TO WHITF; -A most <.:urnplt:le llttle book, containing full directions for writing love-letters, and when to uae them, i;lvlng letten tor young and uld 12. llOW 1'0 WHITE 1 .t:TTEHS TO 1.AUJES.-Glvlng complete lnatrucllona tor writing letter& l() ladles on all subjects; alao letter or Introduction. notes and So, la. llOW TO DO IT; OR. HOOK OF ETIQU E'l''l'E.-ll 11 a great lire secret, and f!,eslre to kno w all l Xo. 14. 110\V TO MAKE CAXD\'.-A com1 or l\'o. IH. 110\V TO BECOME BEAUTllTI .. -One or the brightest and moat valuable llttle books ever given to the world. Every, body wishe s to know how to become beautl-I lul. both male and r e male. The ecret Is imple, anci almost r 'll lf"ss. 1 1xr:.," I ,...amea. sporUJ. cant dherslona. comic recital ions. etc.. sullable ror parlor or drawlngr110111 entertainment. No 21. 110\V TO HtTNT A1"D FISll. -The most s the explanation to all )dnd8 Of drPaml together with lucky and u11h1cky l\'o. HOW TO WRITE l.ETTEHS TO G ENTl.t:M t ; s .-Cotalnlng rull <1 lrertlona for writing tu on all subjects. No. 110\V TO A (;\'.\l'.'iAST.full lnstruct)ons r o r all kinds o f gymnastlt ep11rts and athletic exer clse a Em bracing thlrty-ttve lllustratlons. No. 26. llOW TO now. SAIL AND 01:11.11 A BOAT.-Fully lllua1rated. Full lnatructlons are given In this llttle book, together wllh 111 etructlona on swimming and rldlng, companion eporte to No. 27 .. llOW TO Al\IJ BOOR Ot" RECITA1'10)';S.-Conintnlng the molt popular elect11Jna In use, comprising Dutc h dialect. French dialect. Yankee and lrlah dialec t piece. togerher with many standard readings. l'io 28. HOW TO TEI.I .... ORTUNt:s. Everyone Is dt:slrous of knowing what hla future life will hrlng forth, whethe r happlne or misery, wealth or poverty. You can tell by & glance at this ltttle hnok. No. 29. HOW TO BECOM -;.AN INVENTOR. -Every boy &hfluld know how tnventlon1 orig 1nated. This hook explains them all, glvln1 example In electricity, hydraulic. magnet ta1n optics. oneumattca. mechanic. etc. 1"o. :w. 110\V TO COOK.-One or the "'"" matrucll\'e hooks on cooking e\'er puUlished. It c11n1ains for cooking meats. tish, ..::1111t>. a11tl oysters; also pies, puddings, <-akt:s a111I 1111 h!11ds or pastry, and a collccli1111 1J!' '.\u. 31. HOW TO BECOME A Sl'EAKt:H. -t'nntHlnln).!" fourteen Illustrations, givtng 1he c?ltrcnnt ions requisite to become a good speaker and elocutionist. Also containing s ems from all the popular authora ot and poet1 y. So. 32. 1101\' TO 1n;HAVE.-Contatntng the rules and lquette of good society and the easiest and 111ost appro\'ed methods ot appearing to good advantage at parties, ball1 the thf'atre, church, and In the No. 3ii. HOW TO 1'1.AY GA)l l:S.-A complete and useful little book, n11ulnlng the rule s and regulations of btlllanls. hagatelle. t1ackgammon, croquet, domtn oea, t>lc. So. 36. HOW TO 801.\'E -C01"l :-.tlltt;:us. -Containing all the leadlnf of the day, amusing rlddle1. catches and 1'0 Y0tm O\VN J>O(;'fOll.-A wonderful book, containtng useful and practlC'al Information ln the treatment of ordinary disease and atlmftinu common to e .. ery family. Abounding In uaeful and etrec tlve reclpea f o r general complah1ts. No. 39 HOW ro RAJSt: no1:s. POl'l.Tlt\', l'IOEONS AND HADBITS. A userut and Instructive book. 1-lant.lsumi::ly lllustartE"lL 1"o. HOW TO !\IAKt; Al\'D St:T THAl'S. -Including hints on how to catch molt.s. Wf'as Is. otter. rats. 1qulrrels and hir<1s. Also how to cure skins. ("oplously lllustratPd. No. 41. TllF: UO\'S ,,... Sl:w \'OllK :'.'ill MEN'S JOli.E HOOli.-Contalnlng a .. a rtety or the latest jok e s used by thf' m ost famous end men. No amateur mlns1 re l s Is cotnplett"' without this wonderful little hook. '.'io TllF: 00\'S 01,. SEW HIHK S1'l".\ll' spJo; a varied assortmPnl or stump apeechc s !':egro. Dutch and Irish. A ls11 rnd Jnkis. Sn. llOW TO Bt:("O)lt: A M,.\(;l('L\S. -('ontalnlngthe grandest aasortment of mag lcnl Illusions e\'er placed before the public. Also tri<:ka with cards, Incantations, etc. No. H llOW 1'0 WIUTE IS Al\' Al.grand collection or A !bum Verses trnltable for any time and occ;t!llon; embrac Ing Llnrs of Lnve, Af'ctlon. Sentiment, Jiu mnr, Respf"C"t. an<1 f"onclolenre: nlsn Vfrsl's rnr \'nlentlnPs i\O. 46. llOW TO )IAK: ASIJ l 'St; t : J .t:CTU.H'IT\'.-A descrlJll ifln of the wnnchrful 1 1s1s f1f elPctrlrlty n.r .<1 f'"IPrtro mAgnetf!llm; to gctht>r with full Instructions f o r making Rlec t rl1 Toys. net let les. etc. By George TrPhrl. A. '.\T .. '.\f. D C'ontatnlng over Hfty lll11stra-4H. llOW TO RtJJl,J> AXn SAii. i ('ASOt:S.-A hand) honk for boys, full dlrNtlona ror cons1r11ctlng canoes and the most popular manner nf sailingthem. Fully 11 lustrared. 1"o 49. llOW TO nt:BATKCllvtnii: r11IPO for conducting debates. outllnf's for dehatPs. Qllt'!ltlnna f. MUl.DOON'S JOKES.-The moot original joke book ever publi1hed. and It la brimful o f wl1 and humor. It contain a. large collectio n of songa, jokes, conundrum. t>tC'., o f Tcrre nC'e Muldoon, the great wit, hu morist, a11t1 practlcal joker or the day. 1"o llfl. 1111\V 1'0 DO PIJZZJ,J>:S.-Contaln lnj( ovf'r th rce hundred interesting puzzles and conundrums. with key to eame. A cuinolet l>ook. Fully Illustrated. 1"o. 67. 110\\' TO no ELECTHICAL THH. l\.S.-C>ntainlng a large collection 1nstnative and highly amusing electrical trick. rf>V>orCai1 to:f.>ic'li. -Contalnin1-: ()\er hundred highly amu ing anti lnstrUl'!lvc tricks with chemicals. Uy A Anmely lllustratt-tl. '.'in 6U. 110\\' TO 110 Sl.t:JGHT-01"-llASD. o\.er fHty o f 1 he latest anrt beat 1 ricks used bv ,\!so containlt1g the s ec.:re t of 1ec0111t sight. Fully illustralf'd. So. 71. 110\\' TO no TIUC'KS.-Contu.lnlng comple 1c Instructions for performing over sixty Mechanical Trick TO no SIXT\' TRICKS WITll CARIJS.-Embractng nil or lhe tateot and most deceptive card tricks \\'\th illus tratlons. :"u. ;:1. 110\\1 TO l>O TIUCUS \\'ITll Stlllf IU;HS.-Showlng many curious tndS for punctuation a net com p11s111nn. w Ith TO nt:c h:lnrl. or the St"t' rel of f'&lml111rry. Aleo !ht! O f future e\'Pllts hy aid of marks. Pt('. lllll!'lt(l':l.(Pl'L -so". ... HOW TO 110 FORT\' THICKS \\'1'1'11 CARl>S.-C'ontnlnln,i.: df'C'f'PI J\ e ("ar'1 Trll'k!ll ns p('rformerl hy INHllng ron and TO DO Tilt: Rl.A('li ART.("on1nlnlng a complete nf 1he my1-tPrlt s of Mnglc anrl Slelght-of-llanrl'ton I I lust rated. Su. W HOW TO Rt:e

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