Young Wild West caught by Comanches, or, Arietta daring death

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Young Wild West caught by Comanches, or, Arietta daring death

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Young Wild West caught by Comanches, or, Arietta daring death
Series Title:
Wild West Weekly
Old Scout
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (29 pages)


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels ( lcsh )
Western stories ( lcsh )
Comanche Indians -- Fiction ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )


General Note:
Reprinted in 1922.

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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:
033259039 ( ALEPH )
905248660 ( OCLC )
W16-00050 ( USF DOI )
w16.50 ( USF Handle )

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WILD ST WEEKLY Magazine Containing Stories, Sketches, Etc., of Western Lil e N o 381. I1'1NCI We e kl11-B11 Subscription ~ .60 per uear, Ente,ea acc ording to A.c t of O ongres},1 in the year 1910, in the oJ11ce oftlN 11 Librarian 0, Congress, Washington, D o., b11 Frank Tousey, Pubti sher, U uni

2 YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. He always wore a fanc y hunting suit of buckskin, trimmed elaborately with scarlet silk fringe, and with his lon g, light hair hanging over his shoulders, topped off with a broad-brimmed sombrero, he certainly made a picture that was dashing in the extreme. Such a boy might be emulated by the boys throughout our great land, for he had never tasted anything in the way of strong drink, always fought for the right, and would not permit)limself to do anything that was wrong, if he was aware of it; using his endeavors to help along the movement toward civilization in those parts where it had not yet reached. Of course, the dashing young deadshot made enemies, as well as friends; that was to be expected With the as_ sistance of his two partners he had broken up more than one gang of outlaws and road agents; and his remarkable skill at trailing and hunting down-Jawless bands of redskins was known far and near. Cheyenne Charlie, who had put in a few years in the service of the government as a scout, was proud to call the boy his leader, for it happened that he did not pos~ess the qualities of coolness and judgment that Wild, as the boy was called by his friends, dicl The scout was certainly a picturesque personage, and look ed to be just what he was------a typical Westerner. His long, black hair and mustache of the same hue and his tanned and weather-beaten face showed plainly t; that effect. \ He was a tall man, too, and as straight as an arrow, and he could shoot with unerring aim, though he did not class himself with Young Wild West, when it came to either accurate or quick shooting. As Young Wild West declared that if he found any thing in the story the scout had heard the old hunter tell abo.ut the tribe of Comanches back in the mountains, that convinced him of its truthfulness, they would strike out the next morning for the place they were supposed to be located at, Jim Dart, a boy about the same age as he, came out upon the porch. He, as well as the scout, was attired in a costume similar to that worn by the das hing young deadshot; but as the two were known as Young Wild West's partners, there was nothing strange about this. "Well, Jim," said Wild, nodding to the boy, "I reckon there is something on hand for us. You were remarkinO' this morning at breakfast that it was beginning to gci rather dull, so, if what Charlie has heard i s correct I r eckon there will be something lively for us before m~ny days." "Is that so?" and Dart's eyes lighted up. Though he never had very much to say, he was one of the kind who act when it is necessary, and who are always ready to do their part. "Yes, Jim," spoke up the scout, giving a nod. "I was just tellin' Wild what I heard an old hunter talkin' about in ther barroom of ther hotel. Accordin' to what he says, there's a band of real old fashioned Comanches, which numbers about four or five hundred, back in ther moun tains. 'l'hey ain't got anything in ther shootin' line, but uses bows an' arrows and sich-like to kill their game, an' fight them as comes to bother 'em. I told Wild I allowed ther oJd feller wasn't lyin' altogether, so Wild says we'd better go an' have a littl e talk with him." "Good I" and Jim Dart nodded his approval. "Well, come on," said Wild, as he led the way to the door of the barroom As the three entered they found but four or :five cus tomers in the place. One of them was the old hunter, and Charlie quickly pointed him out The old man was leaning against the bar, puffing away at a cigar, while before him was a bottle and glass He looked up when the three entered, and then took a very close look at our hero. "Momin', gents," he said. "I reckon I seen one of yer a little while ago. But I didn't see you two boys afore." This gave Wild the opportunity to start a conv e rsation with him, so he promptly retorted: "Well, we're strangers in town, you know We just got here last night and we thought we would stop over until to-morrow morning. I reckon yotl're a hunter?" "That's je s t what I am, young feller. I've been in ther business for nigh onto thirty years now, an' that's jest long enough to make me feel as though I ain't never goin' ter git out of it. I ain't got rich at huntin' an' trappin', but I've managed to git all I wanted to eat, an' i;omethin' to drink now an' then, when I strike a place where it c o uld be had. I've jest got in from a trip to ther moun tains northeast of here, an' I will say that I'm mighty glad I'm here to be able ter tell it. I've been' an' trappin' around these parts for years, but blamed if I didn't have ther funniest experience this trip that I ever had afore. I seen somethin' that I never believed could be possible." "Is that so?" our hero questioned, and then turning to the barkeeper, he added: "Let's have a cigar." A box was brought out and the old hunter promptly took one. "This cigar I'm smokin' now," he said, as he gave a nod, and held it out so be might look at it, "is ther first one I've had in a month I smokes a pipe generally, but when I gits into a town a cigar goes all right for a change. I'll smoke this one you jest give me after I git my dinner." "That's all right; smoke it wh e never you feel like it. But how about this great adventure of yours in the moun tains? You don't mind telling me about it, do you?" Sartin not. I've been tellin' it : for ther last half hour, an' I reckon I can tell it ag'in, an' keep on tellin' it, though I s'pose there ain't many as will believe it. What I found up there to ther northeast, young feller, was an Indian village of ther old time kind. There's a lot of Injuns livin' up there, an' they Jive there je st ther same as their grand fathers did. There ain't no more civilization ter 'em than there is to a grizzly bear I don't mean to say that they're very savage, an' that they're lookin' for scalps all ther time, 'cause that ain't so. They seem ter want to keep to them selves, an' if anyone happens around there they jest run them away. I got a littl e too close to 'em, 'cause when I found there was s omcthin' like a village there I wanted to see jest what it looked lik e Ilere's what I got for bein' inqu isi ti r e." 'l'he old lrnnt cl' Elrnwccl a rath e r ugly-looking wound on his left forearm.


YOUNG WILD WES'I' CAUGHT BY COMANCHES 3 "That was done by a flint arrer head," he went on. "I was surprised by five or six of ther Comanches, an' jest 'cause I didn't start to run for my horse right away they began to shoot arrers at me to b e at anything. I started to git behind a tree, so I could shoot at 'em, but when I seen they wasn't anxious to run after me, I changed my mind, an' instead of shootin', I hurrieri to my horse. I got on his back, an' rode away as fast as ther rough ground would let me. They yelled a little an' sent two or three arrers fl.yin' over my head But I'd seen about all I wanted to see, anyhow, so I thanked my stars and lit out." "How far away is the place where all this happened?" Wild asked, as he sized up the man and came to the conclusion that he was telling the truth. "Jest about a hundred miles from here, as ther crow flies, I should reckon. Putty nigh due northeast, too. Maybe you know somethin' about them mountains up that way? They ain't very high ones, but they're about ther wildest ones I was ever in, an' I've been through tber Rockies somewhat in my time." "Oh, we've seen the mountains from a distance," Wild answered; "but we never went arounc~ that way, since we thought there was nothing much to be found there that would create any excitement." "Well, young feller, if you're lookin' for excitement, I reckon you had better strike out for that Comanche vil lage. Ther chances is that you would git more 'an you wanted of it. But say you don't mind telljn' me who you are, do you? You look ter be a very likely boy. I will say that I never set eyes on a young feller what struck me ther way you do. "My name is Young Wild West." "Git out!" exclaimed the hunter, showing great sur prise. "Thunderation I might have knowed it. I've heard of you somewhat. So you're Young Wild West, ther boy wh'at kin shoot so straight an' kind ride any' kind of a horse that was ever foaled, are yer? Well, put her there My name is Texas Jake, leastways that's ther only handle I have had for some years back." Our hero shook hands with the man, and then he in troduced his two partners. Those who had been in the place when they entered listened to all that was said in an interested way. It happened that they had seen our hero and his part ners before, and knew who they were, but what the old hunter had told when he arrived there a little over half an hour before, had not appeared truthful to them until now. "So you're going to have your dinner here, are you?" said Wild, a minute or so later "Well, I reckon we'll have a little talk with you at the table then Probably you might take a notion to go back to this Comanche village, and if you do we should like to go with yo11." Texas Jake shook his head and remained silent :for a few seconds "Well," said he, looking up, "I did allow that I'd never go near that place again, but since you've spoke, I don't know but what I might go. If what I've heard is right I sorter reckon that I'd be putty safe with Young Wild West an' his pards. But say I had an idee that you was a whole lot older than what ,er are. You must have started in pu'tty young, I reckon "Well, I started in after Indians. and big game as soon as I was big enough to hold a rifle out straight," rep lied the young deadshot, with a smile "I've been at it ever since, and I suppose that is why people are surprised to find that I am only a boy. I don't know what makes me do things that people talk about, though I suppose i t was born in me to do what I could to help civilize the wild parts.Qf the West. Anyhow, I like my job pretty well, and when things get too quiet I'm bound to look u p some thing to make excitement. We'll have a little talk at the table, and I reckon you'll be willing to lead us t o the Comanche village before we are done." "I reckon so, Young Wild West. Put her there Land lord, set up something to a ink. This is goin' ter be on me I want everybody here ter have a drink with Texas Jake, ther old hunter an' trapper what's pu t in years in ther wildest parts of ther mountains, but never knowed there was sich a thing as a tribe of Injuns what lived alone by themselves an' never used :firearms. Set 'em up, landlord." "Right you are, Jake," came the reply, which showed the barkeeper was not a stranger to the man "What will it be, boys ?" All ~ands quickly stepped up, for the men hanging around the barroom were of the sort who like to drink. They ha~Jpened to be citizens of the village who did little work and were fond of loafing and drinking Texas Jake had quite a sum of money with him He had disposed of a big supply of pelts, taking half cash and half supplies for them, and he had come into the hote l "to liquor up," as he called it. He had saved his story until he got there, and Cheyenne Charlie happened to be one of the first to hear it. Wild took the old man by the arm after he had settled the bill at the bar "Texas Jake," said he, "I reckon you'll do me a favor if you don't say any more about the Comanche village you found up in the mountains I mean not to anyone else but us If we go there I reckon there's no need of letting everyone know our business. Just let it go as it is, will you?" "I sartinly will, Young Wild West," was the quick reply "You're right when yer say that there's no need of lettin' everybody know your business. I won't say another word about it-not until you ask me ter." It was p.ot long before the bell rang for dinner, and then our friends went into the parlor of the hotel and escorted the girls to the dining-room The girls, as they were always spoken of by Young Wild West and his partners, were Anna, the wife of Cheyenne Charlie; Arietta Murdock, a very pretty golden haired miss, who was ]mown to be the sweetheart of our hero, and Eloise Gardner, a dark-haired girl, who was the sweetheart of Jim Dart. 1 Of the three, Arietta was the only one who had been born and reared in the West, and she could handle a re volver or rifle, and ride a wild broncho as well as the aver age pla .insmfl.!!. But Anna and Eloise also could shoot and ride horse back very well, and since they had been accompanying our hero and his partners in their travels in searc h of ad -


YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. Yenture they had become accustomed to all sorts of dangers and enjoyed the open air life they were leading. 'rhey all went to the dining-room and found Texas Jake there ahead of them. CHAPTER II. HOP WAH CREATES CONSIDERABLE EXCITEMENT. There were two persons belonging to Young Wild W eat's party that have not been mentioned. They were Hop Wah and Wing Wah, natives of China and typical of their race, as far as appearances went. They were brothers, too, fna looked much alike, both being very innocent and mild in manner. Wing was the cook, and Hop was what they called their handy man While they had no use for any more than one servant, Hop was kept because he afforded no end of amusement while Young Wild West and his friends were in camp, and also because he had proved of the greatest value to them at different times, more than once being the direct means of saving their lives. If anything, Hop was more innocent looking than his b1other, but that is as far as it went. He really was one of the smartest Chinamen that ever came over I the blue Pacific. He was a very clever sleight-of-hand performer, a card sharp of wonderful ability, a born humorist, and liked whisky, which he always called tanglefoot He had his bad qualities with the good ones, which is generally the case. His brother was a very easy-going fellow, honest and a Yery excellent cook, and when he had nothing to do he was inclined to doze. The chances are that he would not have remained with our friends so long if he had not become a sort of :fixture to the party. Anyhow, Hop could not be always depended upon, espe cially at cooking Just as our hero and his partners went to the parlor to escort the girls to the dining-room,., Hop Wah came into the barroom of the hotel. He had been taking a little walk around the village, and as he came in his face was beaming and his smile was bland, indeed "Hello, Hop!" said the barkeeper, who evidently had met him before. "Got back, have you?" "Lat light, so be," was the reply. "No takee long to ",.alkee lound lis place. No velly muchee houses, so be. J\Ie no find um Chinee in town." "No, they ain't no heathens here, that's right," and the barkeeper grinned. "What will yer have?" "Me likee havee lillee dlipk of tanglefoot, so be." "All right, I reckon I'll stand treat this time. Ther boss ain't around, an' if he was it wouldn't make no difference. He tells me to use my customers as I think best, an; when I think they oughter be treated I always do it in ther right shape Hop accepted the glass that was pushed toward him, and th e n a s he got hold of the bottle he poured out some of th,e liquor. It was just then that a half-breed Indian walked into the barroom. He was a villainous -l ooking fellow, indeed, for there were several scars upon his face that showed plainly and dis figured him a whole lot. Bu t it was evident that he was not a stranger there, for the four loungers, who were left there when Young Wild West and his partners and the hunter went out nodded to him and accepted greetings. "Where have yer been ther last two or three days, Rattler?" one of them asked. "Been :fishin' up ther creek," was the reply, in about the same kind of English used by the natives of that part of the country "Had putty good luck, too. Jest sold all ther fish I had, an' now I'm gain' ter buy some liquor." Then the half-breed walked to the bar and threw some money upon it. "Half a gallon of liquor," he said, as he looked at the Chinaman and scowled. "I'm in a little hurry. Never mind that feller. He don't belong here, anyhow." "Velly nicee day, so be," spoke up Hop, quickly, and then bowed low to the newcomer. "Me velly glad to meet um handsome man You gottee velly nicee face, so be." "What's that?" ancl the half-breed scowled fiercer than ever. "What clo yer mean by talkin' to me like that, you heathen galoot?" "Lat allee light," retorted the Chinaman, and he quickly pulled a cigar from his pocket and tendered it to the fellow. "You have lillee smoke, so be? Me likee you velly muchee The loungers grinned, for it was easy for them to guess that the Chinaman was poking fun at the half-breed, though it could not be told by the expression of his face Rattler, as he was called, looked at the Chinaman in silence for a minute. Then he must have concluded that what had been said to him was really meant, for he ac cepted the cigar, and in a gentler tone of voice, said: "All right, heathen I'll take ther cigar an' smoke it. But I want ter ask yer a question. Kin yer see straight ?1 "Me see velly muchee stlaight," declared Hop, shaking his head decisively. "Well, I thought maybe yer couldn't. You said I was a very handsome man, when I knows I'm about as homely a galoot as ever lived But I can't help it, of course. I wasn't so bad lookin' afore I got inter a nest of wildcats about three years ago. They jest ripped off all ther flesh I had on me, and when it healed up I looked like this. But maybe your ain't keen enough to see ther scars." "Me allee samee tlink you lookee velly nicee," and the Chinaman acted as though there could be no doubt about it. "You havee lillee dlink with me, so be?" "Well, I don't mind if I do. I ain't never seen very many heathens, but you see m to be about ther best one I ever did strike." A nod from Hop caused the barkeeper to put out a glass for the half breed He :filled it to the brim, and then raising it, nodded and said: "Here's good luck toyer, heathen." "Dlinkee velly muchee hardee, so be," was the retort. Both drank, and then Hop struck a match and offered it to his new friend. Rattler accepted it, and lighted his cigar.


YOUNG WILD ESrr C .\.UGH1.' DY CmIANCHES. 5 "Jest hurry up with that jug of liquor, will yer?" he said, as he nodded to the barkeeper. "I've got company home, an' they're waitin' for me." "All right," was the reply, and in a very few minutes the jug was placed upon the bar. The half-breed was still puffing slowly at his cigar, and nodding pfeasantly to Hop, he picked up his jug, and said: "I'll see yer later, heathen. Jest now I've got business on hand." "Allee light," was t~ reply, and then Rattler started for the door. He had nearly reached it when there was a sharp click and his cigar flew to pieces, while left in his mouth instead was a long spiral string with a tiny doll dangling at the end. "Wow!" he yelled, as he quickly threw the end to the floor. "What's that 7" "Lat Yelly stlange," declared the Chinaman, as he stepped over and looked at the string, which had not ceased vibrating upon the floor. "Me no givee you lat; me allee samee givee you um cigar. Me buy um cigar in lis place, too. Velly stlange." "I should think it was strange," declared one of the loungers, as lie stooped and picked up the string. H e dangled it before the eyes of the rest, and the tiny doll bobbed up and down. Then it was that the others broke into a roar of laughter, and finally the face of the half-breed relaxed into a smile. He looked first at Hop, then at the barkeeper, and then his glance turne d to the pieces of the cigar that were scat tered about the floor. "What do you call this, anyway," he demanded, as he kept his eyes fixed upon the barkeeper. "Did yer sell ther heathen that thing for a cigar?" "Not that I know of," was the reply, and the man acted as though it was a myst e r y to him, which it certainly was. "Me bu y three cigars here this morning, s o be," declar e d Hop, shaking his fingers at him, as though he did not want him to tell a lie. "Me no smokee lem, but me givee lis velly muchee handsome gentleman one. He lightee, and len when he s mokee lille bit, um cigar fallee allee part, so be. Nicee lillee doll baby jumpee outtee and dancee likee any tling. V elly m'uchee stlange. Me no likee lem kind cigar, so be." "Well, ther cigars I sold yer was i:ight in ther box with ther others. If that was one of 'em ther feller what put 'em in ther box mu s t have put it there for a joke. It ain't my fault, an' rm putty sure ther boss don't know nothin' about ~" "Lat velly stlange," declared Hop, and then he pulled another cigar from his pocket. "Tly lis one, my hand some fliend." "Not much," roared the half-breed, angrily. "That thing was enough fer me." "Allee light, you takee one outee um box, len," and Hop beckoned for the barkeeper to hand him the box of cigars. It was quickly handed to him, and then without anyone observing it he dropped the cigar he had in his hand into the box. It happened that there was just two rows in the box, and the one he dropped in lay loosely there. It was only natural that the half-breed should take this one, and after h e had put the box back upon the counter and paid for the cigar, Hop struck a match and offered it to him. ".All right," said Rattler "I'll light her up. But if anythin9 happens lilrn it did ther last time I'll shoot that cigar box fu11 of holes afore I leave ther place." He puffed away almost viciously, remaining near the door as he did so. Just as he thought the cigar was going all right $ere was a sharp hiss and thenBang! With a report as load as that of a shotgun, the cigar exploded. The half-breed uttered a sharp cry of alarm, and falling back through the doorway, dropped his jug as he did so. "Hip hi!" yelled the Chinaman, dancing about the room as though in great fear. "Whattee mattee? Whatee mat tee ?" But the moment he saw Rattler getting upon his feet he slipped out of the rear door and vanished. Y9ung Wild West and his partners came rushing from the dining-room, for they had plainly heard the report and the shots, and had recognized the voice of Hop. The proprietor, who was at the table with them, came also, as did Texas Jake, the old hunter. The half-breed was in a terrible rage, for the jug had broken and its contents were being soaked up by the cracks in the floor. He had a gun in his hand, and evidently meant to make his threat good, for he was advancing toward the bar. The innocent box of cigars was still there, and it looked as though he was certainly going to fill it full of boles. "Hold on there!'' called out the proprietor of the hotel, sharply. "Don't you shoot in here. If yer do you'll get into trouble." l 1 It was evident that the half-breed feared him somewhat, for he reluctantly lowered his revolver and dropped it back into the holster at his side. "What's the matter, anyhow?" asked the hotelkeeper, turning to the man behind the bar, who stood there as though unable to speak. "I-I don't know, boss," was the reply. "It seems that Rattler got hold of two very funny cigars which was bought here. One of 'em had a funny-lookin' string with a doll fastened to it in it, an' when ther string came out ther cigar flew all to pieces. There's there string on ther floor over there, I reckon. Bnt no it ain't, either. Where did it go ter, boys?" The loungers, who were as much surprised as he ap peared to be, shook their heads. None of them knew where the string had gone. They had not observed the clever Chinaman pick it up before he left the room. "It's gone," declared one of them, shaking his head. "Maybe ther heathen took it with him." Cheyenne Charlie's face wo:re a broad grin. "What was ther matter with ther other cigar?" he asked, looking at the barkeeper. "That one had a big charge of powder in it, I reckon," was the reply. "When it went off Rattler was knocked clean off his feet, an' he broke his jug of rum at ther same time. That's what makes him so mad, I reckon."


YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. The scout now burst into a laugh. "Do you know anything about it?" queried the landlord, looking at him in surprise. "I reckon he can guess how it was," spoke up our hero, who was smiling at the man. "Our clever Chinaman was responsible for it all, I suppose. He is always up to such tricks, you know. The two cigars never came from here, that's sure. He carries such cigars about with him, just to have a little fun now and then. But I reckon we'll soon settle this thing. Give the fellow another jug of tangle foot, and give him a couple of cigars, too. I'll pay the. bill." Rattler at once became mollified. "All right," he said. "It may be very funny, but if I ketch that heathen I'll give him somethin' he don't want, an' you kin bet your life on that." "Well, so long as you don't hurt him very ml:lch it will be all right," said Wild, in his cool and easy way. "But don't go to using a gun on him; if you do you will get filled full of lead." "You won't do it, young feller," and the half-tlreed showed that he had considerable spunk in him. "I don't want to have you make any threats to me, either." Rattler did not attempt to pull his gun, but he took a step forward as though\ he were going to take hold of the boy. The next minute sometbing happened to him. With a lightning-like move Young Wild West cauo-ht him about the neck with one arm, and seized him by the calf of his leg with bis right hand. Then he threw him out of the door as easily as though he had been handling a sack of gTain. "Fill up his jug, barkeeper," he said, "and give me the two cigars for him. I'll start him for home in a jiffy. I reckon he'll find out that he can't fool with me, even if our clever Chinee did play a trick on him. But I won't hurt him any." Before the bartender could get out another jug of rum Rattler was upon his feet. He uttered a roar like that of a mad bull and rushed back into the room. This time he had a knife in his hand, and the :fierce look upon his ugly face told that he was ready to commit murder. Wild stood stock still in his tracks until the man made a lunge at him with the knife. Then he quickly stepped to the right, and with a sharp blow sent the knife from his hand. The next instant the half-breed was whirling through the air, and when he landed he was outside the barroom again. "I don't want to hurt you," called out the boy, sharply. "But don't try anything like that again." The fall had jarred the man so much that his breath was nearly taken from him, and for the space of a few seconds he sat upon the ~round, looking about him in a dazed sort of way. "You done that, y01mg feller?" he questioned, as he looked at the boy, who was standing in the doorway. "Yes, I did it," was the reply. "But, as I just said, I didn't want to hurt you, so if you take my advice you'll take your jug and light out." "You done it all alone, too, eh?" "Yes, I didn't need any help to do a thing like that." "All right, I guess I'll do as you say. I'll take ther jug an' go home. I got very mad, 'cause I can't help it. But I soon git over it, an' I'm glad I didn't stick my knife in you. I don't want to fight with yer, for you kin do things I never saw a man do. I'm sorry, young feller." "All right. Let it go at that. ,i Wild walked back into the room, while the barkeeper took the jug outside. Rattler got upon hia feet and accepted it meekly. "Give him the cigars, too," called out our hero. "All right, Young Wild West," was the reply. "I've got 'em right here." The half-breed accepted them, and then he said: '' Oh, l reckon I understand now. Ther 1ioY, is Young Wild W ettt, eh? If I had knowed it at first I wouldn't have saicl a word to him. I've heard tell of him, an' I reckon what I've heard about him ain't no lie. I'm off now." True to his words, he hurried from the spot, carrying the jug as though it was something of great value, and should be handled with care. Then our friends went in to :finish their interrupted dinner. "Well, that Ohinee beats anything I ever seen," declarer! the old hunter. "I reckon I want ter see more of him." "Most likely you'll see enough of him afore you git through," answered the scout, shrugging his shoulders ancl smiling. CHAPTER III. THE HALF-BREED snows HIS HAND. Our friends took their time at eating dinner, and as they v;;-ere not interrupted again, everything passed off satis factorily. The girls listened as Texas Jake related his thrilling ad ventures with the Comanches. Such things always inter ested them, Arietta, espectially. "You are sure they are Comanches ? she asked, as the hunter paused and leaned back in his chair. "Oh, yes!" was the reply; "I'm sure of that, miss. I knows a Comanche when I sees him. These is genuine Comanches, too. Ther kind my old dad used ter tell about. I know their lingo putty well, an' I heard lots of talkin' when I was hangin' around ther village. There ain't no mistake about it." "Well, I guess that particular tribe used to be thick around this section, anyway," Wild spoke up. "I sup pose this crowd is made up from the descendants of the old timers, who did not want to make war on the palefaces, and went off by themselves. It is what you might call a colony, I suppose. They are living in the old barbaric style, true to their instincts, most likely. I reckon it will be worth our while to make the trip there and study them up a bit." "It surely will, Wild," Arietta answered, her eyes bright ening. "I am very anxious to see them." "Wnat I" exclaimed Texa s Jake, looking at the girl in astonishment. "You don't mean to go too, do you?" "Oh, yes," and Arietta smiled at him in a way that told


YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGIIT BY COMANCHES 7 plainly that she was not the least bit afraid to make the journey. "Gosh, I don't think it will be hardly right to take a gal up ther~. What dci yer think about it, YJung Wild West?" "Oh, I reckon it will be all right," replied the boy. "The girls are used to all sorts of adventures, you know They can shQot, if there is any :fighting to be done, too But we are not going up there in the mountains for the sake of shooting the Comanches We are simply going out of curiosity. It might be that we might strike something in the way of a treasure there. The Indians of the old times are known to JJe something of miners. There is no telling but that they might have a whole lot of gold and silver in their village. If we find that such i~ the case probably we can induce them to part with some of it. I reckon it will be a good idea to take along some pi eces of calico and rolls of ribbon, and the like. Such things usually strike barbarians right t? the heart. They are always fond of :finery, I have heard "Well, maybe you arc right," and the old huntcT shook his head. "But I don't jest know about it. Howsomevcr, I'll go with yer, 'cause I've said I would. I've got Tid of all my pelts, an' I was goin' tcT start out ag'in ,in a few days, anyhow. I'll go up there with yer, an' on ther way I kin do quite a little huntin'. I left some traps up .that way, an' I kin set tl1em, too. WhenevcT_ you git ready to start you'll :find me right on hand, Young Wild West." "All right, Texas Jake," was the reply "We'll staTt at eight o'clock to-morrow morning, then. We intended leaving the town at that time, anyway, so we'll strike out right for the mountains, where this Comanche village is located, according to what you say." "I did say that, but I sorter forgot that I rode into town with thcr half-breed. But that don't make no difference, I reckon." "Not much, anyway," Wild said, assuringly. "But what did the half breed say when you told him about the Co manches you had seen?" "Well, he seemed to" know somethin' about 'em. He says as how his grandfather is one of 'em. There's Injuns as knows that they're up there, but none of 'em ever bother about gain' to see 'em, it appears "Ah and our hero shook his head "So it was not exactly a secret, then?" "Well, I reckon ther most of it has been hearsay," de clared the hunter. "Rattler wouldn't say as how he knowed it for sartin; he was only talkin' from what h e had bear9.. His father told him once that his grandfather was livi{1' back in ther :iountains with a lot of his own peopl e thcr same as they used to live a hundred years ago. But Rattler says he never took much stock in it. He told me that he would never bother about goin' up there to see about it." "Well, I don't know nothing about it," said Cheyenne Charlie, shrugging his shoulders. "But I'll bet if that half-breed galoot :finds out that we're goin' up there he'll take it in his head to go, too. It are putty sartin that he has taken a strong dislike to Wild for what happened to him this noon, an' that bein' ther case it are most l ikely that he'll think about gittin' revenge If he's half a Coman che, which there ain't no doubt that he is, an' he knows that we're goin' up to bother with his grandfather's people, he'll sorter think it a good idea to faller us an' look for his chance to drop Wild. I knowed very well be was lyin' when he said he was sorry when he pulled his knife, for I could tell by ther looks of him at ther time that he certainly meant to stick it between Wild's ribs If he meant to do "She's there, all right," declared the hunter, nodding to give emphasis to his words. "I'll take yer right to it, l e a s twise rn take yer near enough so yer kin see it. I 't th t I'll d l t t th 11 it then, he'll mcan it some other time." wpn say a r1 e ng 1 m o er vi age, 'cause ther chances are that I wouldn't be allowed to I'd be stuck "That's all right, Charlie," Wild answered, quickly. "If full of arrers afore I could git that .far he wants to follow us I suppose he has a right to, so l ong as he don't interfere with us. I reckon we can take care of 'l1here was no one among our friends who had the least doubt about the truth of what Texas Jake had told them. him all right, if he shows a disposition to do anything wrong." The very fact that he was willing to go with them to the pl ace was quite sufficient to show that he had not preThe young deadshot went on out, leaving the girls in the varicatecl. parlor of the hotel. It so happened that our friends and the hunter were the Ilop was not in the barroom, but they quickly learn e d only gucc:ts at dinner that day, so they lingered quite a from the_ propri~tor that he was eating his dinner with the while at the table. servants m the kitchen When they at last arose it was settle~ that they were to The boy was not satisfied, so he made his way to the leave the next morning at eight o'clock. kitchen, and when he found both Hop and Wmg there he "Now then," said Wild, as he started from the diningcame ba .ck. room, "I reckon I'll go and see where our two Chinamen "Mighty funny Chinee, that,' the barkeeper remarked. arc. Hop could not help getting into trouble with that "Who would ever have thought that he could do a thinr: half-breed, it seems I wasn't looking for anything of the like that? Why, I thought sure them cigars had come out kind, but I could not help it, especially when the galoot of that box here, especially ther last one. I didn't sec started for me But I hope he is satisfied." him put one in it when he passed it. over to Rattler." "But it ain't likely he is, though," spoke up Texas Jake, "Well, he is a sleight-of hand performer, you kno..-,, shaking his head "I know Rattler, an' he's a mighty bad Wild answered, with a smile. If He is ':ery handy at mak galoot. He's as tricky as anything, he is. I forgot to tell ing all sorts of things, too. He can make :firecrackers and yer something about him when I started to tell my story. all kinds of :fireworks, as well as cigars. I suppose he has I met him on ther way into Clayton an' I told him how I'd spent a whole lot of time in making that cigar with the seen tber Injun's village up in ther mountains string in it. There is no doubt but that he will make an-"I thought yer said yer didn't say a word about it till other with the same string, for it is likely that he has yer got to ther hotel here?" queried Cheyenne Charlie. tobacco on hand. He carries quite a stock, and it is com-


8 YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. posed of many things that no one would think of taking along with him on a journey." While they were talking in came the half-breed again, carrying the jug he had taken away, which was empty now. He was in a pretty drunken state, too, and as he placed the jug upon the bar he called out: "Fill her up ag in. I've got company oyer to ther hou se, an' I want ter treat 'em right." As he made no move to lay the money upon the bar, the barkeeper shook his head. Evidently he knew the half-breed was not very good pay. "Show ther color of your dust, Rattler," he said, calmly. "That's all' right," was the dogged retort. "Don't you think I've got it?" "Well, you know you owe a bill here now, so what yer git must be for cash." "Fill up ther jug; I'll pay for it." "Produce the money/' spoke up the propriei;or, who was leaning against the bar at the other end. "I don't think you need any more just now, anyway. If you haven't any money you get no rum." "Well, if I ain't got ther money, maybe Young Wild West will pay fer it," the half-breed said, as he shot a glance at our hero. "He oughter do that, anyhow, 'cause he give me sich a lickin' a little while ago." "If it was something to eat you wanted, and you had no money, I would gladly pay for it," Wild answered, coolly. "But when it comes to a jug of liquor .I draw the line. You take my advice and go on back home and take a sleep. You don't need any more rum, just now." "All right; I'll do as you say, Young Wild West," and without another word the half-breed left the jug upon the bar and quickly went outside. But there was a look upon bis face that told our hero he had better be on the watch. There was a window near the end of the bar, and quickly stepping over to it he took his station right at the side. It, seemed that the boy had really divined the intention of the half-breed, for the next minute a revolver was thrus t through the opening below the sash, and the boy saw the half-breed crouching and waiting for a chance to shoot. He waited until he raised his hands to a level with the sill, so he might take aim, and then as quick as a flash h e knocked the weapon from his hand and seized him by the collar of his shirt. Then, b e fore he could recov e r himself, he dealt him a blow under the chin and down he w ent upon the floor. "I ought to shoot you!" he exclaimed, as he stood over the fallen man. "But I won't do that. I said I was going to give you anoth e r chance for your life, and I will keep my word, even though you mad e a hard threat against me just now. You get up and light out, do you hear?" R attler lost no time in obeying. He hurried out ofl the building and started on a quick walk away from it. Wild and the rest of those in the place watched him until he reached a tumbledown shanty, which the proprietor said was his home. "He's a bad fellow," the proprietor said, shaking his head and looking at our hero. "I never liked to have him come' in here. He owes me more than fifty dollars, and every time be gets drunk he trie s to make it more. Some times I have to let him have rum to keep him from break ing things up in here. He's the worst man we have got in the village." "Well," was the reply, "if he interferes with me again, I shall certainly shoot him. I am sorry our cle ver Chinaman did anything to cau s e trouble between us, but it can't be helped now. lf the g aloot ham't d en s e enough to know when he is well off, he will have to take his medicine, that' s all." "You're certainly a mighty cool hand, Young Wild West," ancl the proprietor of the 110tc l looked at the boy adm:iringly. "I wis h I wa s s omething like you. I could run my business a great deal better than I do, I reckon." "Well, never mind about that. I reckon you can be jus t as cool a:s I am, if you make up your mind you are going to do it." "No, I can 't," and the man s hook his head, as though that would be impossible. "I reckon it must have been born in you. What yon do has come to you natural." "Well, I won' t sa y that it ha s n't. But I suppose I have cultivated quite a lot. It is very easy to keep coo1, -and when a man c an do that, he has certainly got the best of it every time. By keeping cool one always knows just what not to do." "I suppose you arc right on that. But say! that heathen Chinee of your s is a pretty cool hand, too, He must be, or he couldn't do the things he does." "1\:fe velly smarte e Chinee," said a voice at that very moment, and then in s tepped Hop, bowing and smiling. Wild was as strong as a young mountain lion, and with "Here h e is now," and the proprietor broke into a laugh. a quick pull he lifted the villain from the ground and "Hello, Hop! Have you got any more cigars about you?"' dragged him t.hrough the window. "Me gottee two or thlee," was the reply. "You likee "I don't know who you was going to shoot, you halfhavee nicee lillee smoke?" breed galoot!" he exclaimed, his eyes flashing dangerously; "No, thank you. But I would like to see how one of "but I reckon you was looking ctr me. Now then, I'm them cigars acts when it goes off." going to give you one more chance for your life. Get up "Me showee you, maybe, before me go 'way from here. here .!" ., But me lik e e havee goode e smokee,1s o me buy one, so be." He half lifted him to his feet, and his face distorted Then the C hinaman s t e pped up to the bar and the barwith passion, Rattler stood in a crouching attitude. keep e r promptly s et out the box for him to make his "I meant to shoot you, '7-oung Wild West!" he hissed. selection. "There ain't no use in lyin' about it. I've got it in or H e t ook one ancl placed it in bis mouth. you, an' I'll git yer if it takes a month." The n he quickly picked up the box ancl passed it to "You will, eh, you sneaking scoundrel!" th e pro prietor As the words left the lips of our hero he' gave the villain I "You t a kee one, too, so be," he said. a push that sent him sprawling. "Well, since you want to treat me, I believe I will


.. .. YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. smoke," was the reply, and the man reached in and took the .first cigar he came to. Cheyenne Charlie gave Wild a nudge and whispered: "I'll bet anything ther heathen has put a cigar in there, an' he's goin' ter fool hin1." "I wouldn't be a: bit surprised," was the reply The fact was that Hop had really clr9ppefl a doctored cigar into the box as he was in the act cir passing it to the proprietor. He held the box in such a way that he forced him to take it, though the man never had the least idea that there was anything wrong. But that was a way the clever magician had. He could make people do things he wanted them to, and they would know nothing of it. A:fter he had lighted his own cigar Hop struck a match and politely tendered it to the proprietor. "Thank you, .Hop," anq soon the cigar was going nicely. "Before me go 'way flom here me allee samee showee you how um tlick cigars act, so be," declared Hop, as he walked slowly around the room, puffing away meanwhile. The landlord nodded, and then took a few more puffs at the cigar. Suddenly there was a quick puff of smoke, and thenBang Tile cigar went off with a report that almost deafened the smoker. Just what there was in it no one could tell, but it cer tainly was something that made a report. "Great Scott !'1 cried the proprietor, as he leaped back ward and fell against a door. "What's that, anyhow?" There was a loud laugh from our hero and his partners and Texas Jake. Tiley saw just what had happened, though the victim could hardly realize it himself. But it quickly occurred to him that he had been vic timized, though he could not tell for the life of him how it had been done. He had surely taken one of the cigars he had for sale from the box. I he bad been put under oath )Jefore a justice he would have sworn to that. But that simply s howed how easily he could be deceived. Wild ran over to him and quickly brushed the pieces of burning tobacco from his clothing, and then he said : "Well, I reckon he has showed you how his trick cigars work, all right, boss. I suppose you're going to take it as a joke. It was a little rough on you, I'll admit." "Take it as n. joke!" exclaimed the man. "Why, of course I will. It was all my fault. I heard all about the heathen, and I shouldn't have taken a cigar from the box, even if I knew it was my own box. Gracious! But that certainly diet startle me, though." Then, to set himself right, he ordered the barkeeper to treat all hands. Nothing worthy of mentioning happened through the balance of the day, and that night Young Wild West and his friends retired rather early, so they would be ready to make an early start for the Comanche Yillage in the ri1oun tains. CHAPTER IV. OUR FRIENDS NEAR THEIR DESTINATION. Our friends arose rather early the next morning. It was necessary to see to the loading of the pack-horses and find out what extraa were needed to take with them. Texas J alee declared it was a hundred miles to the Comanche village, as the crow flies, and this meant that they woirld have to travel a great deal farther than that before they got there Mountain trails do not run in a very straight line, as a rule, and they are not easy to ride over, either. .But Young Wild West was satisfied that they could make the distance in three days, and take it rather easy, at that. The biggest part of the journey would be comparatively easy traveling The two Chinamen were routed out by Cheyeill!e Charlie as soon as he got ,up, and then ,he went over the supplies they had on hand wii:h Wrng. It did not take long to make a list of what t11ey needed, and after breakfast the two went to the store and bought them. "We'll be gone more than a week, most likely," the scout declared, "so there ain't no use in runnin:' short of coffee, sugar, an' ther like. I always likes my coffee sweet, thougJ1 I've seen times when I was glad ter git it without sugar. "I reckon you have, Charlie," Jim Dart answered, with a smile. "You've seen the time when you couldn't get it at all, too." "Oh, yes, Jim. There ain't no mistake about that, But sich things is bound ter happen. There ain't no use in: lettin' 'em happen, if yer kin help it, though. I reckon here's where we kin see ter it that it ain't likely ter hap pen." "Well, no matter what preparations we make, some thing might turn up against us, Charlie." "That's all right, Jim. Of course, somethin' might turn up. But what's ther use of talkin' about what might hap pen ? We'll wait till it does happen afore we begin talkin' about it." All right, Charlie," and Dart laughted. "I never worry about what might happen, you know. I merely said that to show you that you must never feel sure about anything "Well, I do feel sure that we ain't goin' ter be without our coffee on this trip, anyhow," retorted the scout, bound to have the last word. A few minutes before eight they were ready to leave. But our hero always made it a point to make a start at the time set down, unless circumstances would not permit it 'l'exas Jake was there with his mustang and the burro he used to help carry in his pelts, and when he suggested that they 19-ight as well be off, our hero shook his head. "It is just five minute s to eight now," .he declared, as he looked at his watch. "We decided that we would leave at eight, so we will wait until my watch shows that time. I want to time ourselves in making the trip, and I am going to put it into minutes "All right, Wild/' was the reply "I reckon you're ther boss of ther expedition What you say will go every time."


10 YOU G WILD WEST, CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. At just eight o'clock they all mounted, and bidding the hotel-k eeper and those waiting to see them off good-by, the party set out. Of course, H had become generally known throughout the village that Young Wild West and his friends were going off to the mountains with Texas Jake to look for a band of Comanches that were supposed fo be Jiving in seclusion there; but few took much stock in the hunter's story. Those who did think there ~ight be some truth in it would not have taken the trouble to finc1 out, so it is prob able that they soon forgot all about it. With the little town of Clayton once behind them Young Wild West and his companions soon found themselves traveling over a n1gged and rather wild part o the country. This continued to increase as they proceeded, and when noon came they found themselves at the beginning of the foothill s of the range they were h eading for. Wild selected a suitable spot and called a halt. They all dismounted and soon. the pack-horses were relieved of their loads, after which the two Chinamen set themselves at work getting the noonday meal ready. Ilop gathered suffidient wood for the purpose and started the :fire, and then it was not long before Wing had some venison steaks broiling. They had not bothered to shoot any game during the morning, but they were in a part of the country where they knew it must be abundant now, and they meant to try their hand at it before sunset. While the meal was being prepared Wild walked to the top of a hill that was not far from the temporary camp, and took a look over the back trail. He was not much surprised when he saw a horseman riding along about two miles distant. It was too far away for him to distinguish him, but he readily guessed that it was the half-breed, who had, no doubt, followed them from the town. "I reckon that fellow means business," he muttered, as he watched the horseman as he followed the trail. "Well, I'm sorry I had any trouble with him, but if it comes to the point I reckon he's got to go down, that's all. Such a galoot as he is is not safe to be at large, anyhow. He hates me like poison, I suppose, and that means that I will have to look out for myself." After watching the horseman for a few minutes the boy descended the hill and returned to the camp. "Well, Charlie," said he, as he look ed at the scout, "I reckon the half-breed galoot means business, for he is following our trail. He is less than two miles from here now." "Great gimlets!" exclaimed Cheyenne Charlie, giving a start. "Is that so, Wild? I sorter thought he would come after us, but I looked around so many times this mornin', an' didn't see nothin' of anyone, that I thought maybe I was wrong in thinkin' that way. So ther half-breed is comin', eh? Well, I reckon we'll attend to him." "What's that you said, Wild?" called out the dashing young deaclshot's sweet,heart, as she walked hastily to the spot. "Nothing much, Et," was the reply. "The half-breed I had the trouble with over at Clayton is following us, that's all." "I knowed it!" exclaimed Texas Jake, giving a nod. "That galoot is jest one of ther kind to go a hundred miles to git revenge. Rattler is sartin ly a bad one.." ".Are you sure it was he you saw, Wild?" Dart asked. "Well, I'm not exactly sure, for the distance was a little too great; but I'.rn satisfied that it is he, Jim," the boy answered, coolly. "Just go up the hill and take a look." Jim lost no time in ascending U1e hill. Ile remained there for nearly ten minutes, and when he came down he gave a nod. "It is the half-breed, all right," he declared. "I watched. him until he came to a halt less than half a mile from this spot. No doubt he has seen the make from our fire, and don't in tend to come any closer just now." "Well, I don't think I sha ll bother myself about going / out to look for him," Wild retorted, shrugging his shoulders. "We'll just let him do the following in 1.his case. We'll keep right on until we find the Comanches we are looking for; and in the meantime we will be on the watch for Rattler." But Jim did not seem to be as easy about it as our hero, and back be went to the top of the hill to look out for the half-breed. No doubt he felt that the villain migllt try to creep upon them and get a shot at Wild while they were at a halt. 1\Ieanwhile the preparations for the noonday meal went rapidly ahead, and it was not long before the cook called them to eat. Wild beckoned to Jim to come on uown, but the boy shook his head and motioned for them to proceed. "I reckon Jim must be afraid the galoot will sneak up close enough tp us to get a shot," said our hero, as be sal down and helped himself to the portion of meat that had been placed before him by the cook "Well, probably it is just as well. If he is satisfied to stay up there until we get through, it is all right. I won't be long in sallowing what I want, and then I'll go up there and relieve him." When the young deadshot hac1 eaten all he wanted he promptly arose and ascended the hill to relieve Dart. "Well, how is he now, Jim?" he asked, as he reached the side of the hoy. "The galoot is sneaking up here, Wild," was the re tort. "He left his horse in a hollow below there nearly ten minutes ago. I've been watching closely, but have not seen anything of him since." "Well, you go on down and get your dinner. I'll keep on the watch. I reckon if he shows up I'll show him, all right." Jim went on down, while our hero took his place where he could keep a watch on all sides or the spot. Two minutes later he saw something moving about a hundred yards to the left, and fixing his eyes. on the spot, he was not long in detecting the form of a man as he moved from bush to bush. "I reckon that's the galoot, all right," he muttered, under his breath. "Well, he's looking for a chance to shoot me, I suppose, so I may as well give him a surpri,c. I don't want his blood on my han

r YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. 11 Holdin~ his rifle ready :for instant use, he watched and waited. It was not long before he got a good view of the man as he paused and raised above a rock. It was Rattler. There was no mistake about that. Wild saw that he was looking down directly toward the camp, so he thought he had better give him the surprise he intended for him. He coolly threw his Winchester to his shoulder, and then taking a quick aim pulled the trigger. Orang! As the report rang out Rattler's hat flew from his head, and with a yell of surprise and fear, the villain dropped quickly from sight. "I suppose some people would think that I killed him, if they had seen that move out of him," muttered the dash ing young deadshot, with a laugh. "But I just knocked his hat from hi s head and took some of his hair with it, that's all. I don't fear the galoot much, or I would have shot to kill him. Maybe he will have sense enough to turn around and go back now." Satisfied that they would not see anything more of the half-breed for a while, Wild went down the hill and joined his companions at the camp. spect, it would give all hands a chance to get what sleep they required. There would be about ten hours of darkness, so it was settled that Texas Jake should take the first two hours and a half, Jim Dart the second? Wild the third and Charlie the last hitch. If nothing happened by the time the scout had done his trick at watching it would be getting daylight. Whether the half-breed tried to get close enough to get a shot at the boy he hated so or not, none of them knew, for the night passed and day broke without anything hap pening. The probabilities are that if Rattler did creep up to the camp he found it so well guarded that he feared to take the risk. As soon as it was light enough Cheyenne Charlie called the two Chinamen, and in doing so he aroused the rest of the sleepers. 'The result was that in a few minutes all were stirring, and the preparations for the breakfast were going ahead rapidly. When the morning meal had been eaten they were not long in loading the pack-horses, and then a few minutea later they were moving up the ascent. "Did yer fix ther galoot, Wild?" the scout a s ked. Wild knew they had covered more than fifty miles the fir st day, and he now bega~ to think that they would reach their destination in less than three days, unless they met That with serious obstacles. "No, Charlie," was the reply. "I just shot his hat o:ff, that's all." "That's where yer made a mistake, I reckon. won't have no effect on him, I'm sartin." "Well, maybe it won't. But I reckon it will make him be a little careful how he sneaks toward us again." It was evident that tp.e scout feared that the half-breed would not take a lesson from what had happened to him, :for he went up the hill and took his station there until they were ready to leave the spot. He had the satisfaction of seeing the half-breed return to where he had left his horse, so that told him plainly that there was nothing to be feared from him just then. About the middle of the forenoon Arietta shot a young buck, which showed itself as it ran along a ledge some thing like two hundred yards distant from the trail they were following. "That's a mighty good shot," declared the hunter, as he saw the buck rear backward and then phmge toward the foot of the cliff. "I couldn't do that myself, not more tban once out of a dozen times." "Well, Et is something like myself," Wild retorted, a smile s howing on his face. "She never pulls a trigger unIt was just about an hour after our friends came to halt that the journey was resumed. As they started off Cheyenne Charlie insisted on fetch ing up the rear, for he wanted to get a shot at the half breed. a less she is sure she has her target covered. I reckon we'll bave to stop and get the deer. Hop, run down there and cut off the haunches. I reckon we don't bother with the skin." Wild knew very well that if he happened to do so it would probably be the last of the half-breed. But he said nothing, for he knew quite well that the scout would be justified in shooting him. But the afternoon wore on and nothing further was seen of the solitary trailer. Shortly before stm~et they pitched their camp at the mouth of a deep ravine, where a little cascade came tum bling down the rocks. The vegetation was luxuriant at this point, and it cer tainly was an admirable spot to camp at. There was plenty of grass for the horses, and water for the use of an hands, whil e the face of the cliff and the rocks that lay scattered near it would afford th e m shelter from the attack-0 anyone. Wild lmew very well that if the half-breed was per sistent he would surely try to ga in his point during the night, so he saw to it that a ~ood watch was kept. Since there were four of th e m to do duty in this re"Oh, yes we will!" exclaimed Texas Jake. "I'll take charge of that, if yer don't mind. That all goes in my line of business, yer know. I'll go with Hop, an' it won't be long before we'll have things fixed up." "All r'ght; go ahead, then." While the two were attending to the slain deer the rest wait e d on the slope They clid not :fail to keep a watch for the appearance of Rattler, but nothing was seen of him. It was not very long before Hop and the hunter re turned with the venison and the skin. Th e n the journey was resumed. 'rhey continued on all day without anything happening, save that more game was shot, since it was very plentiful in that part of the country. That night they found a camping place that was almost as good as the one they had occupied the night before. It seemed that the half-breed was no longer following them, or if be was, he made it a point not to get too close to them, for the night passed in silence


12 YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. The next morning as they were mounting to proceed on their way, our hero gave a satisfied nod and said: "Well, I reckon we have covered nearly a hundred miles, Jake. But not in a straight line, though. ~till, we are well up in the mountains now, and it can't be that the Comanche village is very far away." "I was thinkin' that myself," was the reply. "We've come up a little straighter route than I took, an' if I'm anything of a judge we oughter strike ther spot afore noon. I can't jest recognize any landmarks around here, 'cause I never was here afore. But I know we're goin' in ther right direction, all right." "Well, we'll keep on, and we will go a little cautious now~ for there is no telling how soon we might come on some of the redskins. The chances are that they come quite a distance from their village to hunt. No matter how much game we come across, we will not do any shoot ing this morning." When they had been riding along a very rough part of the mountainside for about an hour they suddenly came upon the fresh hoof-prints of a horse. "Ah!" exclaimed Young Wild West, as he brought bis sorrel stallion: to a halt. "I wonder what this means? It looks as though the half-breed has got ahead of us." "Or maybe someone else is around here, Wild," sug gested Arietta. "No,2' and the boy shook his head. "I am satisfied that the hoof-prints we see were made by Rattler's horse. Now then, I reckon we have got to go a little cautious. Prob ably the galoot is waiting for us in ambush somewhere." After thinking it over for a minute or two Wild thought it would be advisable for him to go ahead and make an investigation. He told them to stay right there until he came back, and then he rode on over the course of a little hill. As he reached a point in the rocky wall that reared itself upon th~ level he came in sight of something that caused him to bring his horse to an abrupt halt. Less than a hundred yards ahead of him he saw Rai.ller, the half-breed, standing upon the g~ouncl, talking to three Indians who were naked to the waist. That the redskins were Comanches who belonged to the hidden village in the mountains Wild had not the least aoubt, for they all carried bows and arrows and spears and tomahawks. The boy quickly drew back his horse, so be could not be seen, and then dismounted. CHAPTER V. OUR FRIENDS CAMP ABOVE THE VALLEY. Young Wild West watched the half-breed and the three Indians intently. He understood the language of the Comanches fairly well, though he could not talk it fluently himself. When he listened and heard Rattler talking glibly with the three he realized that the villain was making himself friendly with them. For fully five minutes the four stood there talking, :md then the three Comanches nodded their heads and told the half-breed he might come with them. The result was that Rattler Ftcppccl back behind some rocks and led forth his horse. 'Then he followed the three around a bend and disap peared from our hero's view. "That's what I call pretty good," the boy muttered. "That galoot was clever enough to get ahead of us and make friends with the Comanches. Well, I suppose that means we are going to have trouble, for he will surely set them against us. But it is all right. We started to find the Comanche village and see what it looked like, and I reckon we are going to do it, hall-breed, or no half-breed!" Taking the sorrel stallion by the bridle, Wild made bis way back to his waiting companions. "Did you see or hear anything, Wild?" Arietta asked, looking at him eagerly. "Yes, I saw something and I heard something, Et," was the reply. "I saw my half-breed enemy with three Comanches a little way frqm here and heard them talking, too." "Is that so?" The girl's eyes brightened as she spoke. "Yes. It seems that Rattler got here ahead of us, and that he has succeeded in making himself friendly with the redskins. The three he met arc taking him to their village now. But come on. I reckon we will go a little closer, and then we can look around for a good place to pitch our camp. We want to find a spot where we can stand a siege, if it should be necessary. It is most likely the Comanches wili try to drive us away, or perhaps kill us. If it happens that Rattler's grandfather really was a member of the tribe, and he can satisfy them about it, he will most likely have more or less influence with them. Of course he wants re venge upon me, and that means that he would incite the Comanches against us, if he could do so/' "'That's a sure thing," Jim Dart spoke up. "Of course it is," chimed in the scout. "Ther galoot will do his level best to have us cleaned out." "Rati.lcr is a mighty bad man," declared Texas Jake, shaking his head. "I'm mighty sony i.hcr galoot got down on ycr, Wild. He may be thcr means of causin' an awful lot of trouble for us." "Well, kt him go ahead," the young dcadshot replied, calmly. "The very next time I catch him in the act of trying to shoot at me, or any of the rest of you, I'm going to cut his life short." "I'm goin' ter cttt his lifo short the first time I set eyes on him!" exclaimed Cheyenne Charlie, his eyes :fl.ashing. "You want to go a little carefol, Charlie," Wild advised. "Since he is on friendly terms with the Comanches, maybe it would be best for us not to shoot hini, unlm,s there i::; some good cause for it. By doing so it would 01c1ly incite the redskins against us, and then we might have a hot time of it, even if they have no firearms." They all agreed to this, for it seemed that Wild always said the right thing at the right time. They rocle on until they reachccl the spot where Wild had seen the half-brehd and the Indians talking together, and tlJcn they came to a halt. Our h-ro dismounted and quirkly climbed to the top of a big.rock, so he might look around and find out where the village was, if it happened to be near at hand.


YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. 13 But he could see nothing of it, nor could the half-breed few people as comes up this way. Maybe there's plenty of or the three Indians be seen anywhere. Injuns what knows about ther place, an' that they're satisA broken slope that ran for half a mile and was covered fied to let them that's there live without bein' interfered with pines', firs, stunted oaks and cedars, not to speak of with. But there ain't many white men as ever comes up bushes of all kinds common to that region, lay before, his around this way. I never struc k this place until my last gaze. huntin' trip. I've bee n around these mountains for years, "I reckon the village must be the other side of the top too. But maybe yer took not ice whe n we was comin' up of the rise over there," he thought, and then after taking this way that ever y thin g begun to look sorter barren like another good look and seeing nothing, he went back and ther further we come. 1'hat's why I never took a notion joined his waiting companions. .to come this way. I didn t think there would be any use "I reckon we might as well go on a little further then," in looking for big game an' furs, you know. I generally said the scout, when the boy had made his report. "But it went on around this ridge ther other side, where there's ain't more'n half a mile to ther top o:f ther ridge, anyhow. plenty of :furs an' things to be had." Them three Injuns might have been takin' a hunt around "Well, it makes no difference whether anybody came for some game, or somethin' like that, when they met ther around here or not," and Young Wild West nodded bis half-breed galoot." head sharply. "I reckon since we have got here we had Our hero nodded, for what the scout said s truck him as better look for a good place to make our headquart e rs until being right. we get through with our inve s tigation of thi s tribe of Co-Then they rode on up the slope, picking their way along manches. We'll strike out to the left along the top of the where the traveling was best. ridge, and let everybody be on the watch for the kind of The ground was hard and s tony, and there were no traces place we want." of the trail that had been taken by Rattler and the Indians. The boy quickly assisted his swee theart to mount her But just as they neared the top of the'ridge they came horse, and then he gracefully swung himself into the saddle. upon a spot where the soil was so:ft and yielding, and then Then, with Arietta at his sid e he rode along at the head they saw not only the hoof prints of Rattler's horse, but of the column, taking care to k eep far enough away from the prints of moccasin e d feet, as well. the top of the ridge to e s cap e b e ing seen by below. Our hero called a halt, anrl then all hands dismounted. In this way they rode along for perhaps a quarter of a They all felt that they were close to the Indian village mile, and then just as the sound of rushing water came to now, and that they mu s t be very cautious. their ears they came in sight o:f a littl e glen. Wild quickly starte d forward, followed closely by the It lay at the foot of a rather s teep s l o p e and as they rode 1,c out. down this Young Wild Wes t quickly saw that they were Then Arietta, anxious to see what lay below, hurriedly approaching the very spot they were looking for. joined them. Water was falling from the brow of a cliff nearly a hun-As they peer e d between a break among the rocks they dred feet above and it came down in the form of a little caught sight of a very beaufiful scene. cascade. It was nothing more or less than the picture s que village From the fall it made in the hollow ran a little break in of the Comanche tribe. snake-fashion through a cleft in the ride, and so on down It was about a quarter of a mile di s tant in a little valley into the valley below. that must have bee n at least five hundred .feet below them. The glen was nearly in the form of a triang1e, and waa Th e vegetation that abounded in the valley was surprisamply large enough for our friends to pitch their camp ing to them, for it seemed to be almost like that of the and have room fo~ their hor ses to feed upon the luxuriant semi-tropics. grass that grew along the banks of the little brook. As near as they could judge the valley must have ex-Wild saw that it would be impossible for them to be attended as far as ten miles across it, while they could not tacked very well, since the face of the cliff projected out tell how far it ran the other way. away toward the top. This would make it impossible for Fields of grain were to be seen, while the corn grew in anyone to even look upon them from the top. abundance. There were but two ways to get into the hollow, too; The village itself lay close at the foot of the steep descent one was by the way the y were approaching it, and the other they were looking down upon, and it consisted of tepees was through the break in the ridge where the brook flowed made of skins and several rude log shanties. on down to the low ground below. As they took a better look at the s cene they could tell Even if th<'y should be attacked from both points at one that the grain b-ad been cut and gathered in, and that it 1 time there were so many roc k s and massive bou ld e rs scatwas the stubble they were looking at. tered about that they could k eep the m s el,es shield e d from But the corn still stood, which showed that the season bullet s mu c h less arrow s and s p e ars, s u c h a s th e hunter de extended later in the valley than it did at other points in clarecl the Comanches were arm e d with. that section. "I reckon thi s will do nicely," said Wild a s he rod e "That's what I call a pretty nice sort of a place," said down the s harp descent and dismounted. "Hurry up, y o.1 Young Wild West, after a rather length y interval of silence. two heathen l Just unload the pack-h o rses and g e t th e "Seems strange to me that the white man has not come here camp in shape. We don t know ju s t how long we are goin g long before this and taken possession of that valley. I to stop here, so I reckon it will be a good idea to move sorn, have an idea that almost anything would grow there." of these rocks and ma k e a little barricade. We'Ye g o t wat er "That's so," answered Texas Jake. "But it seems there's here and fodder for the horses, so I reckon we can sta y a


14! YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. week, if it becomes necessary. Since we have found the Comanche village I mean to learn all about it before we go away from here." "'l'hat's the way tt> talk, Wild!" exclaimed Cheyenne Charlie, nodding his approval. "This here valley is worth lookin' through, I reckon." They were all soon busy at putting the camp in shape, and under the direction of our hero a few of the big stones that could be rolled over were soon moved so they would form a semi-circle at the front of the camping place. Whi l e this was being done Wild did not forget to keep a watch for the appearance of the Indians or the half breed. Eithe r he or Char l ie or J im w:ere on the lookout all the time. But no one showed up to bother them, and at l ength tlle task was completed. It was noon by this time, and as they were all very hungry Wild i nstructed Wing to go ahead and start a fire. "They will find us anyway," he said, nodding to his partners, "so we may as well start a fire and let them see the smoke, if they're able to There's no use of eating cold grub, when we can have it nice and hot. One thing, if Texas Jake is correct in saying that the Comanches have no .firearms, Rattler is the only one 'we need fear in that respect. Indians can't shoot arrows very far, that's certain, and in order to do us any damage they woul d have to come so close that we could easily take care of them. But I have made up my mind that I don't want any of them shot un less it is absolutely necessary: If they are only armed with the barbarous weapons, such as their ancestors used, it would not be fair for us to shoot at them with40ur rifles and revolvers Just remember that, everybody." "I reckon it will be fair to shoot at ther half-breed Wild," answered Cheyenne Charlie, quickly. "Well, you heard what I said a little while ago, Charlie," was the reply. "He must not be shot, either, unless it is a sure thing that he means to kill one of us, or is. in the act of doing it, in fact. Just remember that, too. If he has got on friendly terms with the Comanches, which seems to be the case, we would not help ourselves any by dropping him. Just keep an eye on him, and see that he don't get the chance to do us any harm, that's all." "All right; jest as you say, Wild," and the scout at once gave in to the judgment of the dashing young deadshot. The cook went about his business just as though there was nothing like danger anywhere near them. But he was so used to it, and had so much confidence in Young Wild West and his friends, that whenever he was told to go ahead and prepare a meal he went at it in the usual way. While the dinner was being cooked Wild and Arietta followed the brook through the split in the ridge and soon reached a point from which they could look down into the valley. They could see the Comanches quite plainly There were men, women and children, and no end of dogs to be seen But as far as their range of vision went not a horse was in sight. "Can it be that they haven't any horses, Et?" our hero asked, as he looked at his fair companion. "Probably they haven't any, Wild," Arietta retorted. "That may be one reason for their staying here in seclusion. I see some cows over there, though." "Oh, yes, they have plenty of cows. I noticed them when I just looked into the valley. There are about a hundred of them, I should say Probably they have oxen, too, and use them to plow the ground to cultivate But that cer tainly is a very primitive look~ng village, Et. It don't look so barbarous, after all." "That's right, Wild. It really looks like a very peaceful place, indeed." "Well, I have an idea that the Comanches are not very warlike, so I reckon we need not be worried about that part of it. If it were not for that half-breed I would go right on down there and pay the redskins a friendly visit As Wild said this he stepped over to the edge of a steep descent, so he might get a look at something that lay around an angle of the cliff. Arietta was about to follow him when she saw the rock he was standing upon slip over and cause the boy to lose his balance. Wild uttered a sharp cry o. alarm, and then went shoot ing down the descent, followed by a mass of loosened earth and stones CHAPTER VI. YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY C OMANCHES. Wild went tumbling down the steep descent before he had a chance to catch himself. He had not taken notice that the stone he stepped upon was loose, and hence it turned over without warning. But fortunately for him, it did not topple and gt> down after the boy. With his weight off, it dropped back into its former place. Our hero turned several impromptu somersaults and slid many feet before he could stop his descent any; but even then he could not keep himself from going down It was just about steep enough to prevent him from doing that, and there was absolutely nothing that he could catch hold of. The result was that the young deadshot went on clown for fully two hundred feet, and then he managed to clutch a bush and stop himself at the very brink 01 a precipice. "Great Scott!" he exclaimed. "I reckon that was one o. the biggest surprises I've had in some time I neYcr once thought that big stone was going to turn over like that. I wonder what Et thinks about it? I got quite a few hard bumps, and a few scratches, too ; but I reckon I am all right, just the same But if 1 had not managed to grab this bush just as I did, it would have been all up with me! There is a straight drop there of nearly a hun dred feet, and the rocks below are jagged and sharp. Well, I reckon my time hadn't come, that's all The boy's wonderful coolness had not deserted him, even while he was taking that fierce slide, and he now looked up where he had left his sweetheart without any warning There she stood, waving to him, for she no doubt feared to shout, lest she might attract the attention of the Indians in the valley. Wild had lost bis hat, of course, so he waved his hands in answer, and quickly let Arietta know he was all right. Then he set about to find a way to get up to her. But he quickly saw that there was no chance for him to climb up that way. He must go around one way or the other.


YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES 15 "I reckon I'll go along to the right," he thought. "If I find I can't do it that way I'll come back and try the left. But I won't be long in getting up there. If I can't do it no other way I reckon Et can get three lariats and tie them together. Then I'll--" A sudden intenuption came. There was a whizzing sound and then the loop of a rope dropped over his head, and a quick jerk pinned the boy's arms to his sicles. The next instant Young Wild West was being dragged swiftly to the right "Look out, Et," he shouted at the top of his voice. "I reckon they ha,e got me." "Yell all yer want tcr, Young Wild West," a voice near at hand called out. "But it won't do yer no good Ther Comanches have got yer. You're goin' ter be burned at ther stake. Ha, ha, ha!" Wild heard the voice and recognized it promptly as that of Rattler, the half-breed. He made a desperate struggle to free himself, but be fore he threw the rope free from his arms two paira oE hands seized him and held him firmly to the ground The place he had been dragged to was almost level, and when he found four or five redskins and the half-breed standing over him he knew it was no use to struggle any further. "You have got me all right, you sneaking coyote," he answered, coolly. "But it was only through an accident that you caught me. You couldn't have done it of your own accord, I reckon." "Never mind how we got yer, Young Wild West," the half-breed answ$:l'ed, his black eyea sparkling with joy. "I got these Injuns to come up here for ther very purpose of getting you, an' if it was an accident it is all ther b etter for us." Then the villain said something in the Comanche tongue to his companions, and the result was that Wild was quickly bound so he could not use his hand8, while his revolvers and knife were quickly taken from him. His captors did not linger there; taking their prisoner they hurried along a few yards, and then found a place where they could go clown into the valley below. It was quite a gentle descent, and was almost entirely covered by scrub oak and bushes. Wild knew very well that his companions could not see him, even before they reached the cover of the trees and bushes. But since they knew what had happened to him he felt that it was all right, anyhow. Between Charlie, Jim and Arietta, a way would be found to rescue him, he had no doubt. It was evident that the Comanches and the half-breed feared an attempt to rescue the boy would be made at once, for they ran on down the descent as fast as they could go, forcing Wild to fun along with them, by keeping him in an upright position, and pushing him along. Rattler had a revolver in his hand, too, and every time our hero tried to slacken his pace he leaned forward and pressed the muzzle of the weapon against the back of his head. On they want, never stopping until the bottom of the descent was reaeh~d. Then it was that the Comanches waved their tomahawk s over their heads and let out a yell that echoed through the valley. Wild knew that this was done for a double purpose. The redskins were giving vent to a feeling of triumph oYer his capture, and at the same time were calling others to the spot. .It was not long before a dozen or more were seen coming that way. It was evident that they knew what they might expect, for the moment they saw the captive white boy they brandished the spears they had with them and shouted in 1.riqmph. Rattler gave a nod of extreme satisfaction, and then turning to Wild, he hissed: "I reckon I'm goin' ter git my rev e nge, all right, Young Wild West. You didn't know what kind of a man you was clealin' with when you licked me over in Clayton, an' then chucked me out of ther hotel. -I'm one of ther kind of galoots what never forgits a wrong that's done me.1 I'm half Inj1m an' half white man, an' ther Injun blood in me always cries for vengeance. Some of these Comanches is relatives of mine, though it's 'way back. I've proved that much to 'em, an' they're ready to do anything I say. I've told 'em what yer come here for-how yer expect ter carry away ther gold dust that's here, an' all that. You kin bet your life they're mad about that. They'll kill yer, that's what they'll do. They're goin' ter burn yer at,ther stake, an' while your flesh is sizzling in ther flames I'm goin' ter dance around an' tantalize yer till your eyes are burned so yer can't see nothin' more. That's ther kind of a feller I am, Young Wild West. When I git revenge I wants it in ther right way. There couldn't be any better way than this." "That's all right," the boy retorted, coolly. "Go ahead and get your revenge, you sneaking scoundrel. But I'm not dead yet; just remember that. I've been in worse fixes than this, and I have always got out all right. I reckon the Comanches are not as bad as you make them out. They are not going to kill me any. kind of fashion The villain laughed contemptuously. "If it does yer any good to think that way, go on an' think," he retorted. "But I reckon I know what I'm talkin' about." Wild said no more. The Indians now started to hold a consultation, and he caught enough from what they said to make him think that they really meant to burn him at the stake as a sac rifice, for they seemed to be of a tribe that had a peculiar sort of religion. The result was that a few minutes later they turned toward the village, marching their prisoner along proudly. They soon reached a beaten path, and as Wild walked as fast as they wanted him to, they were not long in ar riving at the village. Men who were old and young, squaws, half-grown bucks and papooses, all turned out to watch them as they passed by the tepees and log shanties. Mongrel dogs barked and growled as the little proces sion went by. Young Wild West took in all that lay within reach of his eyes, and when he saw that none 0 the Indians pos sessed anything like a :firearm, he realized that what the old h1rnter had told was strictly true


16 YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. But there was not much consolation to be taken :from this, since bows and arrow s and spears and tomahawks can inflict wounds as well as :firearms. He knew very well that if his friends were going to rescue him they must do it by strategy, as it would be im possible for them to make an attack upon the Comanchea and accomplish the desired purpose. True, they might kill several of the redskins, but there was so many of them that they could not possibly win out. One of the log shanties was rather larger than any of the rest and upon the top of it a pole was nailed, to which flaunted a bright colored banner. That this was the place where the chief of the tribe lived, Wild had no doubt. It was easy for him to guess that, for he knew so much about the manners and customs of the Indians, that it was as plain as an open book to him. The Comanches paused before the shanty, and then Wild was faced toward the door, which was closed. There was a short silence, and then two Indian boys crune upon either side of the shanty and began beating upon the rude drums they carried. At this the inhabitants of the village, who had gathered there in a hurry, began shifting their feet an d moving their bodies in time to the rude music of the drums. Presently they began jumping up and down, and then ensued something like a war-dance. This lasted for perhaps five minutes, and then suddenly the door of the shanty opened, and out stepped the chief of the tribe, attired in a costume that was as gorgeous as it was barbarous. Trousers that were made pf bearskin adorned his lower extremities, and from about his neck hung long strings made up of the teeth and claws of animals. Upon the top of his head was the head of a bull, and trailing from under this, all the way to the ground, was a long string of feathers, that were tied in all the colors of the rainbow. His face was painted yellow, black and red, and in either hand he held a spear, the points of which seemed to be gold. From the spear there flaunted the narrow strips of col ored cloth, and on the whole the chief of the Comanche tribe showed up in true barbaric and fantastic shape. Wild stood before him, cool and fearless his long hair hanging over his shoulders and giving him the aspect of one who is not afraid of anythtng. The dancing and drums had ceased the moment the chief appeared, and after looking at the prisoner for the space of a full minute, he gave a nod, as though he meant to greet the boy. Wild quickly returned it and then said: "How are you, chief? I'm sorry I couldn't come before you in better shape; but you see I didn't have my own wav about it." ''Ugh!" came the response, in a guttural ~oice. "The paleface boy heap much brave." "Oh," and Wild gave a nod of satisfaction. "I see you can talk th e language of the palefaces, eh? Well, I'm mighty glad to know that. What is your name, chief?" "Me Big Ox; me heap much big chief," was the reply, in a tone of voice that showed the pride the Indian felt in saying it. "Well, Big Ox, I reckon you had better let me go. I didn't come here of m y own free will, you see. I was back on the hill over the re, looking down this way. A big stone turned over with m e and I came rolling down. I got loose in time to keep from falling over a precipice, and then, as I was trying to find a way to get back again, the half-breed scoundrel you have here, and some of your braves, caught me with a rope. If I came here to inter ere with you of my own free will, it would be different. I reckon you don't want any trouble with the palefaces, so that the soldiers will come here after you, do you?" The chief scowled at this, and then shaking his head, quickly answered: "Big Ox no 'raid of paleface soldiers. They no come here. The Comanches here all bear charmed lives. The palefaces can no hurt them with their guns. The Manitou of Fire is over Big Ox and his tribe. The palefaces can no harm them, and the Indians who no live here can no harm them. Big Ox and his tribe are the greatest of all who live." "Well, I'm mighty gl~.d to ~ear that," said Wild, in his cool and easy way. "Maybe you really think that, but I am afraid you will find you are mistaken if you go too far. If you do hlll'm me it won't be very long before you and your braves will be clea:ned out, and you won't have any village left here. You can believe that scoundrel of a half breed, you have here, if you like; but I want you to know that he is no good. It may be that he is .a distant relative of yours, but that don't say that he is as good as you are. Anyhow, he is half paleface." "Shet up, there, Young Wild West!" called out Rattler, sharply. "You stop runnin' me down, or s omething will happen ter yer afore you're ready for it." "That's all right, Rattler. I know you're afraid that I might make the chief understand just what kind of a galoot you are. But I reckon he's got an idea about it, anyway. He seems to me to be a redskin who can study a man's face pretty well, and if he has looked you over carefully I have rio doubt that he has come to the con clusion that you are no good." "Shet, up, I say!" roared Rattler, as he placed his hand on the butt of a revolver and stepped toward the boy. Then it was that the chief turned sharply to him and called out something in his own tongue. Wild understood what it meant, and he could not help smiling when he saw how quickly the half-breed stepped back. The chief had told him to mind his own business. But he decided to say nothing further just then, for he guessed that what he had said about the opinion the chief had Of the villain WaS right. I "How many come with you, paleface boy?" Big Ox asked, as he fixed his eyes upon the face of the prisoner. "There are nine of us, chief," was the reply. "Two are maidens, one is a young woman, two are men; there is another boy like myself, and two Chinamen. I am Young Wild West, and I take great pleasure in riding all around through the wildest parts of the country, looking up excit e ment. But I never yet have interferred with anyone unless they first interfered with me, or they were fighting


YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES 17 against the palefaces. I can easily see that you and your He could see that there was something wrong by the way people are a peaceful lot. You don't want to make war the girl acted. on the palefaces, nor do you want to make war on anyone. "Wild came near losing his life," sfie answered, quick l y You just want to be left alone here in your pleasant, little "I guess we need some ropes He fell down the steep hill valley, so you can go ahead and live as your forefathers A big stone turned over with him as he stepped upon it." did. I can easily tell that, or what I see makes it plain "Are you sure he didn't git hurt, Arietta?" the scout, to me. I want you to know that I did not come here to asked, quickly do harm to any of you. One o:f the men in my party was "Not much," replied the girl. "I saw him get upon his here not long ago, and when he told me about the great feet, and he waved his hands to me to let me know that he chief and his braves and peo:r,le who lived here, I wanted was all right. He didn't want to shout because he might to come and see them. I meant to go away again and not be heard by someone in the valley, I suppose." return. No harm was intended you. But the half-breed 'Oh," and the scout breathed a sigh of relief. scoundrel has told you lies about me, and now you want The girl then related just how it had happened, ana' then to keep me a prisoner. I reckon you had better change followed by Charlie and Jim, each carrying a lariat, she led your mind, Big Ox, and let me go. the way to the spot our hero had taken his impromptu The chief shook his head in the negative He was very drop from. decisive about it, too, and when he told the braves who were As they peered downward they could of course see noth standing close to him to go and tie him to a post that stood i11g 0 the dashing young deadshot, or those who had capa short distance away before three or four of the tepees, tnred him. Wild knew that it was useless to do any further arguing "He went along to the right," said the girl, pointing the just then. way. "I suppose he is looking for a place to climb up here He gave a nod, as though he abided by the decision, and "Well, I reckon we had better go back, an' then go on a few minutes later he was tied in a standing position to rUP that way," the scout retorted the post. "You go ahe ad, Charlie, and we will wait here," Dart Then the chie waved his hand to those who had gathsuggested, quickly ered about his shanty, and the result was that the crowd "All right," was the reply, and then Cheyenne Charlie dispersed. hurried back tlhough the narrow cleft, and reaching the top He stalked inside the rude structure, leaving the ha1-of the ridge again made his way along in the direction he breed standing alone, his face a study, or it was evident thought the young deadshot had probably taken that Rattler was not quite satisfied with the way things In a very few minute s the scout came to a point from had turned out. which he could look down the valley, and as he did this he Meanwhile Young Wild West was left to his own medi-gave a start. tations. He was tied securely to the stake, and without It happened that his eyes fell upon Wild and his captors, assistance, he. could not hope to get free. as ;they were leaving the trees and underbrush. But he knew that his partners would find a way, so he They were so far below him that it was folly to think remained cool and watched what was taking place around of shooting those who had the boy a captive; but, anyhow, him. Charlie did not have his rifle with him. The little children of the Comanches eyed him in an He stood watching the boy as he was hurried along or awesome way and the dogs came and sniffed at him the space of a minute or two, and then he was satisfied that Pretty soon a number of the oldest squaws in the Indian the best thing to do was to go to the camp and get Jim village formed themselves in a line and began walking Dart to accompany him down into the valley and try to around the boy, who had been tied to the stake under senrescue their dashing young leader. tence of death. Jim and Arietta had not returned when he got to the 'camp, so he told Hop to go and tell them to come back as quickly as possible. Then he related what he had seen. CHAPTER VII. CHARLIE, JU[ AND HOP GO TO TIIE RESCUE. Both the old hunter and Anna and Eloise were dismayed when they learned that Wild had been made a captive by Arietta quickly recovered from her fear and excitement the Indians of the valley when she saw that her dashing young lover had not been "Thair's mighty bad, I reckon," declared Texas Jake, killed. shaking his head. "Yer say that half-breed was with 'em, When she saw him standing upon his feet and waving eh?" to her she uttered a cry of joy, and then as he turned to "Yes, I seen that galoot," Charlie answered "You kin work his way along in search of a place to climb to the bet your life he's responsible for it all. It's too bad Wild top of the ridge, she started back for the camp to notify had to go an' slip an' tumble dQwn there. He never would those there of what had happened. have got him if it hadn't been for that, I reckon. Any -It was over a hundred yards the two had covered in mak'how, they must have took him by surprise, or they ing their way through the long cleft, so n e ither her cry, couldn't have made him a prisoner without some of 'em or that which Wild uttered when he found himself going goin' under. Wild ain't ther sort of feller to be ketched down the steep descent, had been heard. any kind of fashion, yer know." "What's the matter, Arietta?" asked Jim Dart, as the "I reckon not," and the old hunter nodded. "But what girl came hurrying to the camp. are you goin' to do about it, Charlie?"


18 YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. "I'm goin' to git Jim to go with m~ down there right away," was the reply. "I reckon we kin find a way to git there without bein' seen by them redskins. Of course it won't do to go to shootin' into 'em We've got to go at it careful like. It's got to be done by strategy, as yer call it. But leave .that to me an' Jim. We've done sich things afore. We'll jest git down there into that valley, an' then we'll sneak up to ther village. Once that's done I reckon we'll have to find some way to git Wild away from ther Comanches." Just then Arietta and Hop came hurrying to the camp. Jim Dart was not far behind them. When Jim and the girl heard that Wild had been captured their faces turned pale. Charlie quickly told them all he had seen, and then spoke of his plan, which was to go down into the valley as he had already stated. Of course Jim was willing to do this. He was always ready to do anything to help the boy he was proud to call his leader. "We won't lose a minute, Charlie," as he quickly tight eneanis belt and looked at his weapons. "Come on." "All right, Jim," the scout retorted. "I reckon we'll git Wild, all right. Arietta, you an' ther rest had better stay here till we come back." "I will," was the reply, "unless I think you're staying too long." Both knew what the girl meant by this. If she got it in her head to follow them and try to rescue Wild of her own accord, she would surely do it. Arietta was one of the brave, determined sort, and an exception to her sex. She could do things that many vet eran scouts could not accomplish. As Charlie and Jim started off Hop, who had been busy taking something from his saddle-bags, started after them. "Me go, too, so be," he called out. "All right, heathen," the scout answered. "I forgot about you. I reckon you can be of some help. Maybe you kin do something to hold ther attention of ther Comanches while we're gittin' Wild away from 'em. Be sure you have got some of your fireworks with yer." "Me gottee allee light, Misler Charlie," Hop retorted. "Me velly smartee Chinee. Me helpee gittee 11isler Wild flee allee samee velly muchee quickee." The Chinaman -.soon overtook them, and then they worked their way along under cover of the bushes until they found a sort of trail that ran down into-the valley. It was here that the half-breed had gone with the Indians he met, for they soon found the prints of his horse's hoofs, as well as the footprints of the Comanches. It happened that there was a fringe of bushes at one side of this trail, while on the other rocks piled themselves in fantastic shapes. "I reckon it ain't goin' ter be such hard work to git down here without bein' seen," observed the scout, shaking his head with satisfaction. "That's right, Charlie," Dart answered. "We will be all right until we get down there, anyhow. Then we will have to oe a little careful, since there is a long, level stretch of land between the patch of timber down there and the village "We makee outee allee light," spoke up Hop, in a voice that betokened great confidence. "We velly soon findee outee where Mi~ler Wild is, so be." "I reckon we ln1ow about where he is now, Hop," the scout retorteu. "The galoots was headin' straight for that village with him when I seen him last. It's most likely there's where they've took him." "Lat allce light, J\fislcr Charlie. We go to um village, too, len." "Of course we will. There ain t no use in you sayin' that. That's what I said a little while ago, didn't I?" "Lat 1ight, Misler Charlie," and the Chinaman smiled blandly. It seemed that Hop liked to tantalize the scout every time he got a chance, and that was why he was talking in that strain. They might have kept the conversation going further, if Jim had not advised them to shut up. "We want to be very careful, since we don't know but that there might be some of the redskins spying around here," he added. This had the effect of silencing the scout and Hop, and then all three picked their way carefully clown the rather steep descent. But it was not so steep that horses could not go up and down, so it was easy for them to proceeu on foot. Carefully they worked their way to the bottom, and fif teen minutes after they left the camp they were down into the valley. "A putty nice climate down here, I reckon," observed the scout, as he looked around and saw how everything was growing in such luxuriant fashion. "Nobody would have ever believed there was sich a place as this here among these mountains." Jim Dart nodded to this, but said nothing. "Well, come on," went on the scout. "Wild said we was not to shoot any of ther Comanches unless we hacl to, so I s'pose we'll have to foller out what he said." "Certainly," Dart retorted. "Don't fire a shot unless it is absolutely .necessary. That's Wild's orders, and they must be carried out. I reckon we can manage to rescue him without killing any of the Indians. O.f course if that half breed takes too strong a hand in the game he will get his medicine. But none of the Comanches must be shot unless they start in to try and kill us." The scout nodded to this, and then Hop spoke up: "Lat light. We no shootee um ledskins with um guns, so be. Me makee bigee shootee, and lat be allee light." "Well, don't yer go to doin' that until we git ready for it," Charlie advised, shaking his finger at him. "M:e undelstand, M:isler Charlie," Hop quickly a;nswered. "Me no foolee; me velly smartee Chinee, so be." Jim knew very well that he did understand perfectly, so he had nothing to say. Hop had been too long traveling about the country with them for him not to know what should be done, and when it was time to do it. They soon came to the end of the patch of woods, and then as they looked over a level plain the village o.f the Comanches showed up nearly a mile away. Really it looked no closer to them now than it had from the top of the ridge. I


YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. 19 "Well," said Dart, as he took in th e situation at a glance, "I reckon it won t do for us to go straight for that place over there. We mu s t cut off to th e l eft and get to the other side of tho s e tree s over there. A s you say, that grove runs directly to the lower side of the villa ge. We will have to walk a mile or two in order to do this; but that's all right. I am confident that no harm has been done Wild, even though he was taken a pris oner "That's right, Jim," and the scout nodded to indicate that he was sati sfied to do jus t as the boy suggested. They started off to the left, making their way carefully along. Every few yards they wer e forced to drop to the ground and crawl, so they might not b e obser v ed by anyone who might be looking that way from the villa ge. In this manner they continu e d tmtil finally they got across the open space and reached the big grove that lay on the other side. Once there they c o uld pToc c e d with le s s caution, and they hmried along at a trot now. Hop brought up the r ear, for he could not travel quite as fast as Young Wild W cst 's two partners, though he had pretty good wind. On they went, 'and soon th e b a rking of the dogs of the Indian village sounded so cloee to them that they knew they had but a short distanc e fu rthe r to go. Two minutes late r the y were near the edge of the grove of trees, and then they saw th e y ~ere right upon the village. They became ver y cautious now, and working their way along, they soon reached a point from which they could see about all there was to be seen in the Comanche village. It was just about this time that the older of the squaws formed into a line and began marching about the stake to which our hero was tied. "T1ie squaws is havin' a little parade all by themselves, I reckon," said Charlie, in_ a whisp e r. "They're doin' that to try an' worry Wild, I s'pose. But I reckon they ain't worryin' him much. He ain t ther kind what gits worried. He's always as cool as an icicle, no matter how hot things is around him." Jim nodd e d to this, for he knew very well that every word of it was rig ht. The braves and bucks of the village did not appear to b e paying much attention to their white prisoner just then, and the squaws were having it a ll to thems e lves. "Say, Jim," said Charlie, sudd e nly. "I reckon if you could manage to sneakinto one of the m tepees an' git a blanket an' some of ther clothes of one of them squaws you could sorter j'in in with that proce s sion for a minute or two, an' cut Wild loose. What do yer think about it?" "A good idea, Charlie," was the quick reply. "The squaws don't seem to be paying much attention to anything but Jhemselves. The y're not even interforing with Wild. I had an idea that they meant to poke him with sharp sticks and try to torture him." "That means that Wild has been condemn~.d to die, I reckon," said the scout, shrugging his shoulders. "I've heard how the r Coman c hes used ter do in old times when the y had a prisoner what was to be burned at ther stake. They're sorter holdin' bis fneral ceremony afoTe he's dead. Well, that's all right. I'd rather see 'em do it afore he's dead. It's a whole lot better for us, an' for Wild, too, I reckon." Jim gave a nod, and then without a word he started to creep toward the nearest of the tepees. Fortunately it was close to the fringe of trees and under growth. It really seemed to be a part of the valley that was not used for anything more than hunting game where our friends had come, and finding a narrow path that led between the trees and through the dense bushes, Jim worked his way along swiftly. The circular procession continued, and while .the chant was g oing on at its height, the boy took the chance of leav ing the bushes, and then lying almost upon his stomach he wiggled along toward the tepee. Two minutes later he had reached it, and quickly cutting a slit with his knife in the skin, he peered through. The tepee was empty. With a muttered exclamation of satisfaction, Jim Dart crept into the tepee. "I reckon I stand a pretty good chance of doing it," h e muttered, under his breath. "Here's just what I want to disguise myself with." Sure enough, there were blankets and clothing such as were worn by the squaws of the village inside the little place. Jim lost no time in taking what he wanted, and then he carefully crept out through the opening he had made in the back of the tepee. It was just at that moment that the beating of the drum and the singing of the squaws came to a stop. The boy could not see what was going on, so after wait ing a few seconds, he moved around the tepee a little and then saw the chief of the tribe walking toward the assem bled squaws. It was no time for him to act now, so he crouc:hed down anu watched and waited. The chief was still attired in his finery, and after walk ing up a.J).d down a few times, he spoke a word that caused the squaws ,to line up before him. Then he began talking to them in his own language, and with a nod of satisfaction, Jim muttered: "Now then, I reckon I'll see what I can do. It is going to be quite a risk, but that makes no difference. Wild bas got to be rescued." The boy arose to his feet, and with the blanket wrapped about him, so as to hide his face as much as possible, he stepped around toward the stake to which our hero was tie. CHAPTER VIII. It was just then that a squaw who was so old and wTinkled that she might have been a hundred, came from one of the rude shanties near the tepees, and began pound-TWO ATTEMPTS TO RESOUE OUR HERO FA.IL. ing upon the one-headed drum s h e carri ed. It was c e rtainly a daring thing that Jim Dart proposed Those marching around in a circle promptly quickened to do, but he was not the least bit afraid. their pace, and as she joine~ in the column, they all began I If he fail e d h e made up his mind to take the conse-singing a weird sort of chant. quences, that ,vas all. ._


tZO YOUNG WILD WES"r CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. It was not the first time he h ad ~et himself to doing a dangerous and ri sky thing. He heard the chief talking away at a great rate, and he understood enough of the Comanche language to under stand that he was telling the squf'ws that the paleface boy was to be offered as a sacrifice to Manitou Fire, which was the god the tribe seemed to worship. "Fire worshippers, eh?" thought Jim. "I didn't know there were any of them among the Comanches. But there is nothing strange about it, I suppose. I'll bet that Texas Jake i s mistaken in his idea that the redskins here have lived here for generations. They are probably nothing more than a crowd of fanatics, who have come here because the rest of their race they mingled with did not believe aa they do. But I reckon that Wild will not be offered as a sacrifice to the Fire God, just the same. If I don't set him free in s ide of five minutes I'll miss my guess, that's all." Big Ox, the Comanche chief, grew eloquent as he talked to the old squaws, and all seemed to be listening to him intently, Wrapped in the blanket, Jim Dart moved slowly around into foll view of the chief, and then he started forward, as though he mean to join the throng. o one seemed to pay any attention to him, so he slowly moYed toward the E take to which our hero was tied. He reached out and was ju s t about to pull a knife from undel' the blanket to sever the bonds, when a brave, who was standing behind one of the tepees, and out of sight of Jim, suddenly leaped forward and flung the boy to the ground. He uttered a shout as he did this, and becoming en tangled in the blanket Dart could not pull his gun. "rhe result was that in less than ten seconds he was in the power of the Comanches Wild turned and saw who it was as the blanket was torn from the struggling boy, and he could not help feeling a little discouraged. He knew that a daring attempt to rescue him had been made. It had failed, too, and that meant that hia chances of getting away were growing less. But Cheyenne Charlie was still somewhere about, he had 110 doubt, and if he could not succeed, Arietta, or perhaps Hop, might. Of course, he only had the four just mentioned to depend upon. "Take it easy, Jim," he called out. "They've got you, and that is all there is to it. But don't have any idea they are going to kill either of u s Bix Ox, the great chief of the Comanches is not that sort of a fellow. I reckon he is simply trying to scare me a lit,Oe, and when he gets through he will let us both go. I am glad to know that you made such a good try to set me free, however. It's all right. Just keep cool." The boy spoke in a loud tone of voice, and the chief, as well as the rest of those standing about, heard and under stood him. Jim was quickly disarmed and lifted upon his feet. But in stead of tying him to the stake with Young Wild West, the chief gave orders for him to be placed in the log shanty he made his headquarters. This was somewhat ~urprising to both boys, since it would s eem llul il:c-y wou l

YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMAN'CHES. 21 this, so still. Charlie motioned with his hand for him to keep! while Jim Dart could not help thinking it was a very good It was much easie r for the s cout to proceed in a noise less manner than for the helpless boy to roll that way. The result was that Charlie quickly reached him and severed the bonds. "Git out through that hole," he whispered, as he pointed to the ope ning. "Hop i s there." Jim lost no time in obeying but Charlie decided to remain in the shanty a while. His curiosity was aroused sufficiently to cause him to have the desire to look around the shanty before he left it. He soon found th a t there were but two rooms to the shanty, and that this one was simply a sort of store-room, though a very small one, at that. There was no window to it, but there was enough light admitted through the chinks between the logs. In the rogm were several old barrels and boxes, which contained articles that were mostly rubbish. The scout soon s atisfied himself that there was nothing there that was worth while taking, so he tried the door that opened into the other part of the shanty. But this was barred on the other side, the chief having made sure that Jim could not escape, even if he should happen to get his hands free. "All right," muttered the scout, nodding with satisfac tion. "I reckon when ther old galoot comes to look for his other priFoner he won't find him. Now then, we've got to find a way to git Wild free. It's gettin' along well in ther afternoon, an' I reckon we want ter git him afore night comes on. JeP.t like as not ther Comanches will take a notion to oast him after ther sun goes down." II e made his way back to the opening, and dropping upon ~is stomach, crept out side. Jim and Hop were there waiting for him. "What are you going to do now, Charlie?" Jim asked, in a low whisper. "I don't jest know, Jim," was the reply. "But I reckon we'd b ette r put these two logs back in th e r place as well as we kin." It did not take them long to do this and then the scout and Dart looked at each other in silence, while Hop watched them infontly. None of the three knew just what to do. They all knew that there was no possible chanc e of eith e r of them creep ing up to wh e re the young deadshot was tied to the stake .. They would be cfocovered b e fore the y got half the

. YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. expected, and the next instant he saw a dozen or more rushing toward him with uplifted spears. "Whoopoo Wow, wow, wow!" yelled the scout, for his fighting blood was now up\ Then he drew his revolvers. "Hold on, Charlie!" called out Wild, from the stake. "Don't shoot. Run for it." "All right, Wild," was the quick reply, and then up setting the squaw, who was making another attack upon him, Charlie bounded away into the bushes. CHAPTER IX. ARIETTA SETS OUT TO RESCUE WILD. Those at the camp upon the ridge waited patiently for the return of those who had set out to liberate Young Wild West. When half an hour passed by Arietta became unJasy. She went back and forth through the cleft in the ridge several times, and each time she was unable. to see anything at the village that would indicate that a success had been made by those who had started for it. When she came back the last time she nodded to Anna and Eloise and exclaimed : "I am going down there into the valley. I'm afraid Charlie and Jim, as well as Hop, have boon unable to do anything. But I will save Wild, if no one else can." "Don't go, Arietta," said the scout's wife, pleadingly. "You know very well that Charlie and Jim will do their level best. You will simply be running into more danger if you should go down there." "I don't mind the danger," was the reply. "I hardly think these Indians would harm a girl. They might make me a prisoner, if they get the chance, but I'll see to it that they don't have the chance." Eloise tried to dissuade her, too, but it was of no use. Then Texas Jake shook his head and said : "You're makin' a mistake, gal. What show would you have with a lot of Injuns? They would see yer afore yer could get anywheres near Wild. You had better stay right here an' wait till them what went to look for you comes back. Maybe he'll come back with 'em. I sorter think that way, anyhow." "Well, I don't," was the rather curt reply of the girl. "I have made up my mind to go down there, and I am going If I get into trouble it will be my own fault." Texas Jake shrugged his shoulders and said no more. Picking up her rifle, Arietta at once set out. She took the same direction that the scout, Jim and Hop had taken, and she was not long in striking the trail that led down into the valley. When the hunter declared that she would stand little show in getting there without being seen he made a mis take, for the girl was quite up in woodcraft, and she worked her way along as cautiously as an Indian scout might have done. Before she was half way down she heard the reports of the crackers Hop set off, and then she knew that the Chinaman must be at work. A hope sprung in her breast, for it occurred to her that she might soon see her dashing young lover runni~g toward her with the Indians in pursuit. She grippeQ. her rifle tightly, which meant that she would stand ready to use it, if it became necessary. Then she proceeded on down the hill, dodging along behind the rocks, and creeping close to the ground when it was necessary. A few minutes later she saw a horse and rider coming at a swift pace less than a quarter of a mile distant. It was Hop, as she could readily see. Then: it was that the girl's face paled. It struck her right away that the attempt to rescue Wild had failed, and that pro)>ably Charlie and Jim had been caugh't by the Comanches. Waiting behind a clump of bushes 'She watched the ap proaching Chinaman. As he drew near her she stepped out into view and threw up her hand. "Hip hi!'; called out the Chinaman, excitedly. ."Me allee samee gittee 'way velly muchee quickee. Pletty soonee you see Misler Wild n.:nd Misler Charlie and Misler Jim come velly muchee fastee. No more horses lere, so ley havee lun on foot." Hop thought that his plan had been carried out to perfection, for he had not taken the time to see what had happened after he set off the last of the crackers. Arietta's hope arose again. She, too, thought it very likely that what Hop said would soon be proved correct. Strange to say, the Comanches had not given chase to the Chinaman It m'ight have been that when the scout was discovered by the old squaw that they had been attracted in that direc tion, and had not seen him take his departure with the horse. But anyhow, he had got that far through the valley with out being pursued. "So there are no more horses in the village, eh, Hop ?" Arietta asked. "That means that the tribe don't use horses. Well, that is what Wild said was the case when we look ed down upon it from above. It's a good thing they have no horses, perhaps, for that will make it all the better for us to get away when we get ready to leave' "Lat light, Missee Alictta," answered the Chinaman, who had kept a tight hold upon the rein of the horse, so it could not get away from him. The two waited for fully ten minutes, and then as they saw no one coming it occurred to both of them that something had gone wrong. "Maybe Misler Charlie and Misler Jim no gettee Misler Wild flee, so be," said Hop, shaking his head. "Me no undelstand, Missee Alietta." "I guess they made a failure of it, Hop," the girl answered, shaking her head, sadly. But the next minute her eyes :fl.ashed and she brightened up wonderfully. "If they have made a failure of it, I will see what I can do," she declared. "Airee light, Missee Alietta. Me helpee you velly muchee, so be. Me velly smartee Chinee. Me makee uni ledskins allee samee fee.lee velly muchee sickee. Me gottee plenty more fireclackers." "Well, if you want to help me, Hop, just go along with. me. We will go around to the woods over there, and then we won't be seen I'll get on the horse with you."


YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGH'r BY COMANCHES. 23 Hop nodded7 and promptly assisted her to mount. Then he clambered up behind her, and they set out, taking a roundabout course, which was about the same that had been followed by Wild's partners and the Chinaman when they first set out to try and rescue him. It was a daring piece 01 work 1or the girl, but she never once fhought of the danger. Iler heart was set upon rescuing her dashing young lover, and she was ready to fight until it was accomplished, no matter what the odds were against her. When they got around behind the strip of woods the horse was put to a .faster gait, and the result was that they rapidly neared the Indian village. Just as Arietta decided that it was best to bring the horse down to a walk, so the hoof-beats might not be heard by the Indians, a man suddenly sprang from the bushes, holding a leveled Tcvolver in his hand. It was Rattler, the half-breed "A-ha!" h'e exclaimed, a fiendish smile showing on his ugly face. "I've been watching yer, gal. So you have come right ter me, have yer? You jet>t make one little cry an' I'll put a bullet through you, even if I like yer a whole lot. Keep your mouth shut, too, ht'athcn. I feel jest in ther humor to shoot yer foll of holes, anyhow." rrhen the villain quickly seized the bricllc rein with his left hand, but did not turn his revolver away from the girl. Though taken completely by surpri~e, Ariel.ta quickly recovered herself and made out that she was very much frightened. Hop really was very much frightened, but he quickly re covered, too, for the coolness the girl displayed, though 8hc was acting as though s:hc was in fear, nerved him for what migllt chance to happen. Hop knew well the way Arietta did business, and when she did not try to shoot the scoundrel he felt certain that she was simply trying to deceive him and thus gain time. 'l'his was just what the girl was trying to do. "Don't shoot," she said, putting up her hand as though to w:ud off a bullet. "Have pity on me, pleas<'. I haYe come to save Young Wild West. H there is the least spark of a man about you you will help me." "IIa, ha, ha!" laughed the half-breed. "You're a mighty putty gal, I reckon. So yer want to save Young Wild West's life, do you? Well, gal, I'll tell ycr how it kin be done. You jest give me a nice kiss from them ruby lips of yours an' I'll see to it that ther boy is set free. How does that strike you?" "Lat velly goodee, so be," spoke up :A:op, from behind the girl. "Nobody's askin' your opinion, heathen. You shet up. No matter if Young Wild West does git saved, I'm goin' to fill you full of holes. You ain't goin' ter git away from here alive, that's sartin.'' "Allee light, Misler Lattler," said the Chinaman, who was now bound to h:eep up his coolneRs, for he felt somehow that Arietta was soon going to give the villain the surprise bf his life "I-I don't want you to kiss me, sir," Arietta answered, as though e;he was trembling with fear, though the fact was that Rhe could hardly keep from reaching over and knocking the weapon from his hand. 'J'hat was what she meant to do, but he was hardl y ne a r enough for the purpose. But what she said had the effect of giving her the chan ce, for Rattler took a couple of steps closer to her "If I let you kiss me will you surely set Young Wild West free?" she asked. "I sartin1y will, gal," lied the scoundre l h i s eye s spark l ing with a strange glitter At the same time he unconsciously lowered his revo l v er no doubt thinking that the girl had given in. Then it was that he received a surprise. A quick blow from the girl's left hand sent the weapon from his grasp, and then swinging her rifle around as hard as she could, she landed a blow upon his head that sent him staggering upon the ground. In a twinkling Arietta leaped from the horse and dealt the villain a second blow, which rendered him unconscious. "Lat pletty good, Missee Alietta," declared Hop, as he l i ppetl from the back of the horse and lost no time in tying the man's hands. "Me fixee him uppee allee samee velly mnchee quickee." 'T'hcn Hop gave the unconscious man a slap in the face, and then proceeded to bind and gag him. Arietta watched him until he had finished his task, and then she quietly tied the horse to a tree, and said : "Now then, Hop, we will go on and save Wild CHAPTER X ARIETTA. DA.RING DE.A.TIT. Cheyenne Charlie ran for his life. But he did not mean to be caught if he could possibly prevent it. He did not run around to where he had left Jim, for he really had not the time to do it. He took to the woods, and the moment he reached a tree that was easy to climb he at once swung himself into the branches and went up like a cat One thing, the scout had not dropped his rifle when he fell and the squaw perched upon him. Ile had held fast to that, knowing that it might be pos ;;ible that he would have to use it before long. Up the tree he went, taking the weapon with bim It so happened that the bushes were so dense right at the edge of the collection of huts and tepees that none of the Indians had seen him climb the tree. But he knew if they continued the search very long they would be sure to find him there However, he was willing to l'Un the chances of being dis covered. The only one he had to fear was the half-breed, who was armed with a rifle and revolver. Charlie had barely got himself snugly concealed near the top of the tree, which was a close-limbed fir, when he heard several of the redskins coming. He looked down and soon was able to see their forms as they ran about in search 01 the paleface who had failed to rescue Young Wild West. None of them looked up at the trees, and when Charlie saw this a grlm smile played about his lips. "I reckon they think I've gone right on," he muttered.


24 YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. "Well, that's all right. Let 'em think that way. I'll git He cam ~ to a halt at once and listened. Wild yet, see if I don't." Suddenly he gave a start, while his eyes sparkled with For the ne:\.i ten minutes the Indians continued to make delight. a search of the woods, and then Charlie saw them coming The ,oices he heard were those of Ari etta and Hop Wah. back to the village. "Great gimlets l'' he e x claimed, half aloud. "What are "One thing about them red galoots, they don't go very they doin' he~e ?" far "'1i,en a feller gits away, anyhow," he thought. "Why, Pus hing his way through the bu s hes, he came upon it would be mighty eas y ter git away from 'em, even if a Young wild West's sweetheart and the clever Chinaman feller kept right on runnin'. All he would have to do just as th e y were about to start toward the Indian village, would be ter keep far enough ahead so them arrows couldn't after having made Rattler a prisoner. reach him. I reckon I kin run as fast as any Comanche "Hello, Arietta!" said the scout,. in a low tone of voice. in that crowd, anyhow. But this tree is good enough a "What are you doin' here?" place for me jest now. rn wait till things sorter git "Why, it's Charlie!" the girl exclaimed. "You came a qui e ted down, an' the n I'll git down to ther ground an' little too late to be of any help to me, I guess. See that look aropnd for Jim. I reckon the r heathen must have fellow lying there?" got away, all right, 'cause I ain't heard nothin' of him." Arietta pointed 1.o the helpless s coundrel, who was now Five minutes later not an Indian could be seen by the coming to from the e ffects of the blows he had received. scout, though he could hear the sounds of their voices in Charlie looked at the half breed and then gave a nod of the village. satisfaction. Just as he was thinking of descending the tree he heard "So you have got him, eh? Well, Arietta, I was after footsteps coming clos e to it. him, I reckon. I'll j e st see if he's tied good. Don't be Carefully pushing aside the branches that concealed him in any hurry about gittin' over there to ther village. It from the view of anyone upon the ground, the scout peered will be better if you let ther Injuns sorter git quieted down downward. a bit." Then he saw a man making his way along in a skulking Arietta saw the wisdom of this, so she waited until the fashion. scout had made an examination of the knots Hop had made It was Rattler, the half-breed. in the ropes when he bound Rattler. "Great gimlets!" exclaimed the scout, under his breath. "You made a pretty good job of it, Hop," the scout de"If I didn't promis e Wild I wouldn t do it, I'd certainly clared. "But I reckon I'll take another turn about ther take a shot at that galoot. I know it would bring ther Co-galoot's neck. I'll jest make a nice little noose for it, manches here in 3;jiffy, but I wouldn't care for that. That' an' then swing ther end of ther rope over that limb up half-breed hadn't oughter be allowed to live another minute. there." I wonder what he's up ter, anyway. He seems ter be sneak-He gave a chuckle as he proceeded to do this, and then in' along as though he's after somethin'. I reckon I'll git Arietta said: down and foll er him." "You're not going to hang him, Char lie?" B}(the time Charlie descended to the ground Rattler was "No, not jest now," was the reply. "But it sorter does out of sight. me good to make preparations, you know." But he noticed that the villain was moving away from "Well, I know very well Wild won't permit anything the Indian village, and that meant that it would be pretty like that. I know he is a very bad man, but he must not safe for him to follow him. be hanged." There were so many foot-prints in the soft ground of the "All right, Arietta. I ain t goin' ter hang him. As I wood that it was difficult to pick out the tracks the halfjest said, I'm only makin' preparation s You can t tell but breed had made. that some of ther Comanches might take a notion to take But Charlie went on in the direction he had seen him hold of ther rope an' give it a yank, if they should happen last, ana in two or three minutes he found where he had to come along here an' see him layin' tnere. I don't think huned strai g ht away irorn the village, toward the spot ther old chief has much of an opinion of him, anyhow." where our friends w e r e camped upon the ridge. "All right, Obarli e Now let us go to rescue Wild." Rattler wore heavy boots, while the Comanches all used "That's easier said than done, I reckon," and Charlie moccasins for a footgear. shook his head, while an expression of doubt came over his It was easy for Charlie to tell that the scoundrel had face. been walking when he mad e the tracks, so he proceeded "I'll do it," declared the girl, her eyes flashing. "Just along caution B ly. let me see where he is and I will walk straight up and cut Since Wild had told him he must not shoot the halfhim loose. I am confident that the Comanches will not breed unless it was abs olutely necessary, he had decided to dare to kill me, and I am going to take the risk. They will try and mak e him a prisoner. be surprised if I do such a thing, and before they can reIn doing this he did not want to have him utter a shout, cover themselves Wild can get away. It will be much so the attenti o n of the Indians might be attracted. easier for me to e s cape than it would be if one of you Hence it was n e cessary for him to proceed with the utattempted it." most caution, since he did not know how close he might Maybe your're right, Arietta," but the scout shrugged be to his man. his shoulders and shook his head as though he hardly be-Charlie did not have to go very .far before he heard the lieved it. "We've tried it twice now, but we've made a unmi s takable sounds of whispered voices. miss of it."


YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. 25 _-:-:__-_--.:-=-================.-==================-= Then he quickly told her of the attempts to rescue Wild and what had happened after that. But Arietta paid no attention. She started boldly for the Comanche village, Charlie and Ilop following her. Arietta kept on leading until they were very close to the fringe of bushes at the edge of the village. Then Charlie ha s ten e d to overtake her. "I reckon if you're goin' tcr do what you said you would, Arietta, you had better come this way. I'll take yer right bebina ther log shanty that ther chief uses for his head quarters. There's where we left Jim, an' I reckon he must be there yet. Ther chances are when he found out that I made a failure of it he crawled inside 'their shanty. There's a couple of logs loose, yer know." "All right," answered the girl, in a whisper. She permitted him to conduct her to the rear of the shanty, and when Charlie dropped to the ground and crept along, she did the same. Hop came along a few yards behind of his o;wn accord. The moment Arietta reached the shanty she turned to the scout and said : "You stay here; I'm going to walk right out there in full view of the Indians. I will have my knife ready, and no matter wlrnt they say to me I will walk straight to Wild and cut him free!" "All right," and the scout nodded. "You kin bet your Jiie I'll be standin' ready with my rifle to knock over ther firnt redskins what interferes with you. I can't help what Wild flays about shootin'; it seems to me that it's got to come mighty quick." "Well, don't you shoot until you have to, Charlie With that the girl started deliberately around the shanty and walked out into the full view of a number of braves who were gathered about the stake that Young Wild West was bound to 'l'he girl took in the situation at a glance. Half-a-dozen of the braves stood near Wild, as though guarding him, each with a bow and arrow The moment they saw the girl coming forward, knife in hand, they divined her intention. Instantly the bow-s trings were pulled back and six arrows were aimed at the brave girl. "Paleface girl stop, or she die!" exclaimed one of them, in guttural tones. -"She must not go to the paleface boy. He has got to die!" IIeedle s s of the fact that the Comanche braves stood ready to let their auows fly at her, Arietta bounded for ward, knife in hand. "I'll save you, Wild!" she cried. CHAPTER XI. after the braves came back and reported that they could not find the paleface who had tried to save him, and be won dered what the scoundrel was up to. After waiting some little time what was the young dead s hot's surprise to see his sweetheart step into view and wal k rapidly toward him, knife in hand. The old chief had stationed six of the braves to guard him with their bows and arrows, and when he saw Arietta coming Wild could not help uttering an exclamation of joy. "'But when he saw the braves bend their bows and point the arrows at the girl his face turned pale. If the six braves followed the instructions of their chief they would certain1y shoot the girl clown, if she came close enough to use her knife upon the hopes that bound him to the stake "Don't come any nearer, Et," he called out, quickly. "They'll surely send the arrows into your body. The chief instructed them to shoot the first one who came to inter fere with me. Stop where you are. Maybe you can do better by talking it over with the chief." But the brave girl simply shook her head With the arrow-heads pointed direcily at her, Arietta hastened to the side of her dashing young lover. Warning exclamations came from the Inqians an& cries sounded from others as they came hurrying to the spot. But the brave girl never once looked behind her. With a quick stroke of her knife, she severed the rope that held the boy to the stake. rrwo or three more slashes, and Wild was free. "They dare not shoot me, Wild!" she exclaimed. "~ knew it, or I would not have dared to do it. Jus t then Big Ox, the chief, came hurrying to the R~ene. He was without his gaudy garments now, and looked very much like a plain, ordinary Comanche. He called out sharply in his .own tongue, and the re sult was that the Indians who held the bows instantly let them relax and withdrew the arrows. mrhe paleface maiden is very brave!" the chief ex claimed, as he turned and looked admiringly at her "She has dared death. Big Ox stood and saw her walk Tight up to the boy she loves and cut him loose, when she knew that death was staring her in the face. The paleface maiden is very brave. She can take Young Wild West with her and leave the village of the Comanches." This was rather unexpected, both to Wild and Arietta. But it was a big relief to them to hear the words. "Thank you, chief," the girl answered, as soon as she could find the use of her tongue. "I knew the Comanches in the valley here were not bad. Something told me that, CONCLUSION. and that is why I did not fear the arrows that were pointed In spite of the unsuccessful attempts of his friends to at me rescue him, Young Wild Wes t had remained very patient. Wild gave a nod of approval at what his sweetheart said, Jim had fail ed, and so had harlie, but he knew that and then he calmly walked over and picked up his weapons, something mu s t happen in his favor before long. which were lying near ~ne of the tepees. While l1e thought that Jim was a captive in the shanty He coolly placed his revolvers in the holsters, and then he clic1 not fear the outcom e since he had seen enough of thrust his hunting knife into the sheath. the Comanches to convince him that they were not over Next he picked up his rifle, and slung it over his careful in keeping a watch. shoulder, which plainly told the Comanches that he was He had seen Rattler, the half-breed, leaving the village 1.not going to do any shooting just then.


26 YOUNG WILD WEST CAUGHT BY COMANCHES. "Big Ox," said he, putting out his hand, "I reckon y~u and I had better shake." "Ugh!" exclaimed the chief, as he reached out and took the hand of the boy. "Young Wild West heap much brave. The paleface maiden very much brave girl. She dared death to save Young Wild West. Big Ox a big chief, but he knows what is good and what is brave "Well," said Wild, as he smiled and nodded to the chief, "I told you when you caught me that we did not come here to do any harm to you or your people. We heard of the village here, and we wanted to look at it. Now that we have seen it, I suppose we can go away. But if you don't mind, we would like to take the boy you captured while he was trying to free me, given his liberty "The palefaces shall all go free; come with me," said the chief. Wild and Arietta followed him to the log shanty, the crowd of braves and squaws thf\t had gathered, coming along after them. Tiie old chief opened the door of his shanty, and then stepp i ng inside, went to one that was barred and opened that. He had scarcely done so when out stepped Hop Wah. The old chief gave a sta.rt and jumped back. "Velly nicee day, so be," said Hop, blandly. When Arietta went on around the shanty Charlie had quickl y found that Jim Dart was inside it. T he result was that he quickly told him what was up, and then Dart lost no time in coming oui. T hen all three listened and watched to see what would happen When they found that Arietta had succeeded their joy knew no bounds; but when they heard the chief say that Young Wild West wa to go free, Hop Wah began to dance. "Me go inside um shanty, so be," he declared, suddenly "Pl etty soonee Misler Wild makee um chief comee to takee Misler Jim outee, and len he finc1 me lere Lat be allee samee velly nicee magic tlick." T he Chinaman had done just as he declared he would do, a n d neither Charlie nor Jim tried to stop him As h e stepped out and remarked it was a very nice day the Comanches looked at each other in mute surprise They could not understand how it was that the China man could come from the room in the shanty But Wild quickly explained things to the chief and those who could understand English. Big Ox was quite an intelligent Indian, and a few minutes late r a ll our friends were gathered before his shanty. Then it was that Arietta told what the half-breed had done, and how he had been made a prisoner by her, with the assistance of the Chinaman. The result "\\:as that the chief ordered his braves to go anc1 find the villain and deal with him summarily !' I reckon there won't be no further trouble from that galoot He's hangin' ter a tree back there." It was wonderful to see how kindly the Comanches took to our friends after that. Big Ox invited them to stay at the village for a few days, eo IIop was sent up to the camp on the ridge and a ll hands came down there When the Indians found that our friends had so many trinkets and pieces of calico and ribbons with them their delight knew no bounds They wanted these things, 0 course, and as they had plenty of gold dust and nuggets, some very profitable trading was done. Before they left on the third day a:fter their arrival Wild thought it would be a good idea to let Hop give an enterta-.inment for the benefit of the Indians. Re told the chief abqut it, and the result was that word was sent all over the village for the populace to gather in the square near where the stake Young Wild West had been bound to, after he had been caught by the Comanches, at a certain timE!. The Indians, old and young, lost no time in gathering there, and then Hop gave them an exhibition, such as they had never seen or dreamed of .. "Lis velly nicee place, so be," the Chinaman observed, as the chief led him over before his headquarters and per m i tted him to sit at his right side upon a gorgeous blanket "Me likee stay here allee timee, but me gottee go with Young Wild West." Then he treated the chief to a cigar, which was not one of the kind he used to trick people with, and that made him more solid than ever With the half-breed out of the way our friends had nothing further to :fear, so the next morning they bade adieu to the Comanches and set out :for some other part of the country, where they might find excitement and ad venture rrexas Jake parted company with them a few miles from the valley, he declaring that M was going on with his hunting, as he could not think of giving up what he had been doing all his li:fe. "Well," said Wild, "I was caught by the Comanches, a ll right, and if it had not been that Arietta dared death, the chances are that things would have turned out dif ferently But it is all right, boys. All sorts of thing happen to us, it seems, and I reckon we are good for a whol e lot of adventures yet." THE END. Read "YOUNG WILD WEST SHOWING UP A SHERIFF; OR, THE RIGII'l' MAN ON THE WRONG 'l'RAIL," which will be the next number (382) of "Wild West Weekly." "Let me go with 'em, chief," spoke up Cheyenne Charli~. "I got everything fixed for ther galoot SPECIAL NOTICE :-All back numbers of this weekYoung Wild West nodded, so

WILD WES'l' WEEKLY. 27 Wild West Weekly NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 4, 1910. TERMS TO SUBSCRIBERS Single Copies ......................... ,. One Copy Three Months .................................. One Copy Six Months .................. .. .............. ,. One Copy One Year., .................................... -. Postage Free. .05 Cents 65 Cents $1.25 $2.50 HOW TO SEND MONEY-Atourriskeend P.O.MoneyOrder,Check, or Registered Letter: remittances in any other way are at your risk. We accept Postage Stamps the eame as cash. When sending silver wrap the Coin in a separate piece of paper to avoid cutting the envelope. Write 11ou1 name and address pla.inl11, Address letters to SINOL .UR TO'OSET, President f 011:0. G. IIA&TINOB, Treaaurer Cu.a.a. E. BTLA.NDEB, Secretary Frank Tousey, Publisher ::1,4 Union Sq., New York SOME GOOD ARTICLES. The Department of Agriculture is taking a census of the birds of the United States, and even before its completion is able to estimdte that there are 1,414,000,000 or thereabouts. The census is also for the purpose of finding out what birds help and what birds harm the crops, with a view to diminishing the injurious ones and increasing the insect-eating varieties. The earliest railway tickets differed entirely from those now in use. The booking clerk was furnished with a volume, the pages of which were divided down the center by a perforated line, the outside half of each page was again divided into slips about four inches long by an inch and three-quarters in width, on each of which was printed the name of the issuing station; spaces were provided in which the clerk had to write the desti nation, passenger's name, date of issue and the time the train was due to depart. One of these slips, auly filled in, was de tached from the book and handed over to each would-be pas senger in exchange for his fare. The traveler, having thus obtained his ticket, was passed on to the guard of the train by which he desired to travel. This official was provided with a kind of waybill on which he entered particulars of all his pas sengers in much the same way that a parcel is served nowa days. Incidentally the similarity of treatment did not always end there, the third class passengers had to travel in an open carriage, frequently nothing more than a goods truck attached to a train which carried both passengers and goods, more or less indiscriminately. With what amazement would you regard a person who had a million ancestors; yet by looking in a mirror you can behold the very individual yourself! Now, we each had two parents, a father and a mother, both of whom had two parents. Thus, on this principle, and assuming there has been no intermarriage of relations, a person who has had four grandparents has had eight greatgrandparents. And our lineal ancestors during twenty generations number 1,048,576 So if these ancestors were all living, they would be sufficient to populate a large city, Work the matter out, and you will find that the first generation consists of 2, the second of 4, the third of 8, the fourth of 16, the fifth of 32, the sixth of 64, the seventh of 128. the eighth of 256, the ninth of 512, Urn -Minth of 1,024, the eleventh of 2,048, the t.Velfth of 4,096, the thirteenth of 8,192, the fourteenth of 16,384, the fifteenth of 32,768, the sixteenth qf 65,536, the seventeenth of 131,072, the eighteenth of 262,144, the nineteenth of 524,288, and the twentieth of 1,048,576. And this does not take into account uncles and aunts. Travelers tell us that the wolves of Mexico have a strange way of catching the wild horses. These horses have great speed. It is almost impossible for a single cowboy to catch one. The cowboys, when they wish to run them down, have relays of pursuers. First one set of cow'boys will chase the horses, then another, and another, until at last the horses are caught by the lasso. But it is only when they are completely tired that they are caught; therefore it would be impossible for the wolves to catch them unless they used strategy, for the flight of the wolves is not so swift as that of the horses This is the way the wolves kill the wild horses of the Mexican plains. First, two wolves come out of the woods and begin to play together like two kittens. They gambol about each other and run backward and forward. Then the herd of horses lift their startled heads and get ready to stampede. But the wolves seem to be so playful that the horse s, after watching them for a while, forget their fears, and continue to graze. Then the wolves in their play come nearer and nearer, while other wolves slowly and stealthily creep after them, Then suddenly the enemies surround the herd and make one plunge, and the horses are struggling with the fangs of the relentless foes gripped in their throats. GRINS AND CHUCKLES. Fuddy7Did you ever notice that successful men are generally bald? Duddy-Certainly! They come out on top. Husband-What's this stuff? Wife-You told me you wanted a quick lunch, so I made you some hasty pudding. Mrs. Smith was engaging a new servant, and sat facing the latest applicant. "I hope," said she, "that you had no angry words with your last mistress before leaving." "Oh, dear, no, mum; none whatever," was ti;ie reply, with a toss of her head. "While she was having her bath I just locked the bath-room door, took all my things, and went away as quiet as possible." "Dear me, pa," said the beautiful heiress, "you'll mortify me to death yet." "What's the matter now, Lil?" "You told John to go down to the depot and get the earl's baggage, right out loud, so that he couldn't help hearing you. Why can't you learn to say station and luggage?" "Oh, don't mind that. The earl won't care. He's got used to United States talk. He asked me 1.his morning how 'I got my dough, and how much I had of it." I When the late Gen. Edward M. McCook lived in Pike's Peak he once presided at a dinner in honor of a famous Indian fighter. Mr. McCook, as he then was, concluded his intro duction of the Indian fighter with the words: "I can find but one fault with the colonel's methods. I allude to Ws well known custom of enlisting in his regiment only bald-headed men. To aggravate the Indians' feelings so cruelly as that is carrying war too far." Mr. Swainson is a powerful preacher, but is never above leavening his sermons with humor. A good story he tells concerns a visit once paid to the cottage of one 9f his par ishioners. It was early spring, and for a long time he sat by the window with the woman's little girl. "In looking out," he remarked to the child, "do you notice how bright is the green of the leaves and grass?" The little girl nodded. "Now tell me why does it appear so much brighter at this time," Mr. Swainson asked. 'Cos," was the unexpected reply, "ma's just washed the window and you aan see out better." l


28 WILD WEST WEEKLY. .A. Mystery of the Mail By Paul Braddon. Do not imagine that I am about to follow the example set me by many writers and indulge in a tirade against talkative women. I don't propose to do anything of the kind. Dora Thompson was a prattler-a natural gossiper, if you will have it, so; but she was a pretty, sprightly, intelligent creature, all the same, and was a general favorite in Stone hollow, where her father was postmaster. Old Tom Thompson, the postmaster, was always laid up with rheumatism, and his wife and daughter performed the labors of his office. That office was situated in the principal street of the village, with a country hotel for its next-door neighoor, and a barber shop right across the way. While sitting in the barber's chair one morning, I noticed Dora standing at her father's door, talking to a young man. The barber was a young German, who possessed "the gift of silence" to such a remarkable degree that he was known as Silent Sam. As I had been spending a few weeks' vacation with a wealthy friend in the neighborhood, I was acquainted with Sam Myers, an:d I made bold to ask him carelessly: "Do you know that young fellow now talking to Miss Thompson?" "No," was the decided answer. At the same moment a queer expression passed over the young barber's face. talking to Dora, and after him rushed the crazy barber, his face streaming with blood, and a smoking revolver in his right hand, as he yelled: "I'll kill you. I'll murder you!" Before he could fire again I had knocked the revolver from his hand, and I had the crazy fellow's arms secured behind him. His rival had darted into the railway depot. We dragged the crazy barber into the barroom, and then I saw that he had received a severe gash on the forehead. "Served him right," cried the young man behind the bar. "He kicked up a row with a stranger, and he struck him with a glass." "Do you know that stranger?" I asked "I know him, sir," answered a soft voice behind me. "Mercy! what a fright! Mr. Myers, how could you act so rude?" The speaker was Dora Thompson, and I was "the fright." Leaving the crazy barber in the hands of his neighbors, I hastened into the washroom and proceeded to set my face in order. When I appeared in the barroom again, the barber and Dora had disappeared. After making a few inquiries, I treated those around me, and then strolled into the post-office, where I found Dora and her mother discussing the shooting affray, When I gained the street I saw the young stranger walking toward me, and he was holding one hand in his breast, while the other was flourishing a cane. He entered the barroom, and I was after him. Looking around, he asked the landlord: "Where's that crazy barber now?" "Up in bed, sick. Might as well let up on him, sir." "I'll blow his brains out if he ever runs foul of me again. He'd be a dead man now' if I'd had my shooter with me." The barber was in love with the pretty post-mistress, and he was as jealous as fury. Chris Spencer-as he then called himself-was about as ugly "He's a stranger .here?" I ventured to remark, as I watched a customer as one could meet in a night's walk in a crowded Sam's face in the glass. city. "I believe so," was the only answer I received by word of I was after him then, but he was not aw~re of the fact. mouth, but the man's eyes said: He was engaged in a desperate and a wicked plot at the "And I wish he'd make strange here again very soon and time; he was suspected of having committed a horrible crime; sudden." and I was to be pitted against him in a desperate struggle. Without pretending to notice his short remarks, I continued: I saw the barber in his bed that evening, and I had a long "That's a very good-looking fellow talking to her now. I talk with him. wonder who he is?" "I mind my own business," replied the barber, and his hand trembled so much that he cut p:iy cheek with the razor. Commencing with a slight oath, I sprang from the chair as I cried: "You blamed fool, if you were minding your own business you wouldn't butcher me in that fashion!" "Served you right," was all he answered. I was about to let fly at him with my foot, when he dashed the razor on the floor, seized his hat and ran out of the store. "Come back here and finish your job, barber," I yelled as loud as I could. The landlord of the hotel soon appeared at the door of his house, and there was a merry smile on face, as he crossed over to me. I told the man what had occurred. He burst 011t laughing. Then I burst out laughing also, as it was a droll adventure, even if I was the sufferer. My merriment was not yet hushed when two pistol-shots were heard in the barroom opposite. "Thunders!" yelled the landlord, rushing out of the shop. "Sam is playing the mischief." I darted out after him, forgetting that the lather and the blood were still on my face. Out from the barroom dashed the young fellow who had been He assured me that Dora loved him dearly until Chris Spencer appeared on the scene, and that she had promised to be his wife. While we were still talking, Dora was ushered into the room. I could soon see that the frivolous girl really liked the bar ber, but that she was somewhat spoiled by the attentions of the dandy from the city, The barber was at his shop on the following morning, and so was I. By altering the po' sition of the mirror, I was enabled to observe the movements of those in the post-office. Chris Spencer strolled along about eleven o'clock, and he entered the post-office with noiseless steps. 1 He advanced to the counter with stealthy steps, and glanced over the pile of letters lying there. Seizing one of them, he thrust it into his breast, then straightened himself up, coughed aloud, and saluted Dora and her mother. When the mail-thief left the post-office I was on his track, and I was disguised as a regular old tramp. It is now about time I told what I was after the fellow for. The friend I was stopping with on the hill above was an old retired sea captain named Richard Dean, and he had an only child, whose name was Maud. About a month previous, and just ten days after the Fourth


WILD WEST WEEKLY. 29 of July, old Capt; Dean paid me a visit at the office in, New York and asked me to assist him in a mysterious affair. His daughter, who was a beautiful, intelligent girl of eight een, was engaged to a young man who was captain of a North River steamboat. His name was John Decker. The young captain paid Maud a visit at Stonehollow on the Fourth of July, and attended a private picnic with her on the following day. Dora Thompson and her mother were at that picnic, and they became acquainted with the young captain there. Chris Spencer was also at the picnic, and it was noticed that he paid particular court to Maud Dean, while he flirted with Dora Thompson as well. Young Captain Decker was very much annoyed at his lady love for receiving the stranger's attentions, and a quarrel en sued. It would have been but a lover's quarrel at most, were it not for the prattlings of Mrs. Thompson and her daughter, who soon reported around the village that Maud had been jilted by her lover. After that Chris Spencer became a constant visitor at the post-office, and Sam Myers looked on him as a rival. He continued to visit Maud Dean as well, and the young lady's ather, who was a very wealthy man, called on me to make inquiries about the fellow. Captain Dean said to me: "What surprises me most ls that young Decker hasn't since written to my daughter. He's a sensible young man, and I didn't dream he'd be the one to brealr off an engagement on account of a silly quarrel." "What do you wish me to do?" I asked. "I want you to come up and pay me a visit and see this Spencer. It will be as well also to make some inquiries about him here in town. Here is his picture and his city address." I started a little when I looked at the photograph, as it bore a very close resemblance to a person whom we had been in structed to look out for, and who was a noted and desperate Chicago confidence man. When the old captain left me I compared the likenesses, as our chief had one of the Chicago rascal in his possession, and was soon satisfied as to the identity of the two pictures. Pursuing my inquiries further, I made the acquaintance of young Captain Decker,. who informed me that he had written to Maud Dean several times, and that he had not received an the circumstances, and I kept glaring up at him in a trembling manner. "Speak out, you old rip, or I'll fire," he cried again. The words were scarcely out of his mouth when the revolver went off, the ball striking me full on the temple and stunning me on the instant. When I opened my eyes again, I was alone in the grove where I had fallen. On searching my pockets I found my and other things all safe. Then I felt convinced that the shooting had been accidental; and that the fellow had hasteneli away from the grove under the impression that he had killed me. Taking a roundabout way I got to the barber's shop again, where I resumed my decent appearance, and I then went over to the post-office to inquire for letters. I did receive a letter at the time, and it was written by Captain Decker. That night Captain Dean received some visitors on the quiet at his house on the hill, and Chris Spencer was there also. The rascal was in the parlor with Maud when I was intro duced by the old captain. There was not the least appearance of repr-oach Of con science on his handsome face as I remarked to Captain Dean: "I suppose you heard about the murder in the grove, captain?" "What murder?" asked Maud. "An old tramp was found dead in the grove this evening with a bullet in his head," I replied, as I kept a side eye on my man. "I suppose one of his companions killed him," remarked Chris Spencer. "There won't be much fuss made about a fellow like that." "You are mistaken," I said. "There's quite a fuss over it; and they are after the murderer now. The barber says he !mows the murderer." "The barber! What-the crazy fellow who tried to shoot me?" "The very same man, Mr. Spencer. He is here now, and he accuses you of the murder." "Accuses me! The fellow is as crazy as a-a-what non sense! Captain Dean, you should have that fellow in the asylum, as I said." "Crazy or not crazy," replied the old captain, you of murder, and robbing the mail as well." "he accuses "Robbing the mail!" answer, on account of which neglect he was highly indignant. "Yes, robbing the mail. You have been stealing my daughI requested him to write again, and post the letter so that it ter's letters from the post-o'ffice-and there's one of them now would be received at Stonehollow at a certain hour. When I paid a visit to Captain Dean's house, I managed to keep out of the way when Mr. Chris Spencer called there. I was now following the gentleman to a little grove outside the village, and he had Captain Declrnr's letter to Maud Dean in his breast-pocket. Stealing along as quietly as possible, I soon caught sight of my man, who was seated on the trunk of a tree, holding the open letter in his hand, and smoking a.way as peacefully as if he were at peace with all the w-0rld. "Everything works delightfully," he said to himself, "thanks to the gabby postmistress. It was a bright idea of mine to intercept the letters, or they would make up again. Now she w!ll soon be my wife, and we will be off to Europe together. When we come back here, no one--Hello, you infernal ras cal, what were you sneaking there about?" The last words were addressed to me, as I had just stepped on a rotten branch and had stumbled forward. Before I could regain my feet the man had me by the collar with one hand and a revolver pointed at my head with the other. I hesitated to answer, as I was meditating how to act under in your breast-pocket, you--" Before the old captain could finish the sentence the culprit made a dash for the open window. I was after him, and I caught him by the coat. Wheeling around, he struck me in the face with the barrel of his revolver and knocked me back in the room. He then dashed out of the window. I sprang up again just as two pistol shots were heard outside. "I shot him-I shot him!" yelled the barber. "My pistol was loaded this time. I got it in the leg, but I don't mind that." When we got on the lawn we found Mr. Chris Spencer lying on the path in a dying condition, and the barber ahd Captain Decker were standing over him. Before he died that night the villain made a full confession. Maud did not care for the wretch, and she was only too happy at the reconciliation with Captain Decker, whom she soon married. Dora's father was removed from his r,osition as postmaster, and the family removed to New York City. The crazy barber followed them there, and coniinued to make love to Dora, soon became his wife.


These Everything I !. COMPLETE SET IS A REGULAR ENCYCLOPEDIA! \ Books Tell You Ea~ book consists of sixty-four pages, printed on good paper, in clear type and neatly bound in 3n attractive, illustrated coftt. 6'oat of the books are also profusely illustrated, and all of the subjects treated upon are explained in such a s imple manner that av and. can thoroughly understand them. Look over the list as classified and see if you want to know 11,Dything about the subjedil mentioned. THEJSE BOOKS AllEl FOR SALE BY ALL NEWSDEALERS OR WILL BE SENT BY MAIL TO ANY ADDRESS FROM THIS OFFICEJ ON RECEJIPT OF. PRICE, TEN CENTS EACH, OR ANY THREE BOOKS FOR TWENTY-FIVE 8ENTS. POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, N.Y. MESMERISM. No. 81. HOW TO Jl.1ESMERIZE.-Containing the most ap proved methods of mesmerism ; also how to cure all kinds of diseases by animal magnetism, or, magnetic healing. By Prof, Leo Bugo Koch, A. C, S., author of "Ilow to Hypnotize," e~. PALMISTRY. No. 82. HOW TO DO PALMISTRY.-Containing the most ap proved methods of reading the lines on the hand, together with a full explanation of their meaning. Also explaining phrenology, and the key for telling character by the bumps on the head. By Leo Hugo Koch, A. C. S. Fully illustrated. HYPNOTISM. No. 83. HOW TO HYPNOTIZE.-Containing valuable and in atructive information regarding the science of hypnotism. Also explaining the most approved metho. 72. HOW TO DO SIXTY TRICKS WITH CARDS.-Em bracmg all of the latest and most deceptive card tricks, with il IWitrations. By A. Ander-son. No. 77. HOW TO DO FORTY T~ICKS WITH CA.RDS.Containi~~ deceptive Card Tricks as perfonned by leading conjurors and mag1C1ans. Arranged for home amusement. l!'ully illustrated, MAGIC. No. 2. HOW TO DO TRICKS.-The great book of magic and card tricks, containing full instl'uction on all the leading card tricks of the d~y, also most popular magi cal illusions as pel'fol'med by oui: lea~mg mag1c1ans ; every boy should obtain a copy of this book, a.9 1t will both amuse and instruct. No: 22. HO~ 'l' O DO SECOND SIGHT.-Heller's seconJ sight explamed b)'. his former assistant, Fred Hunt, Jr. Explaining how the secret dialogues were carried on between the magician and the boy on the stage; also giving all the codes and signals. The only authentic explanation of second sight. No. 43. HOW TO BECOl\IE A MAGICIAN.-Containing the grau?est assort~ent ~f magical illusions ever placed before the public. Also tricks with cards. incantations, etc. No. 68. HOyV DO CHEl\IICAL TRICKS.-Conta.ining over one hundred highly amusing and instructive tricks with chemicals. By A. Anderson. llandsomely illustrateJ. No. 69. HOW 'l'O DO SLEIGHT OF HAND.-Containing over ~fty of the latest and best tricks used by magicians. Also contain mg the secret of second sight. Fully illustrated. By A. Anderson. No .. 70. HOW '.1'0 l\IAKE l\IAGIC 'l'OYS.-Containing full d1rect1ons for makmg Magic Toys and devices of many kinds. By A. Ande1son. Fully illust,ated. No. 73 .. HOW. TO J?O TRICKS WITH NUMBERS.-Sbowing many cur10us tnc~s with figures and the magic of numbers. By A. Anderson. Fully illustrated. _No. 7_5. IIO\Y TO BECOME A CONJUROR. Containing tricks with Dommos, Dice, Cups auJ Balls, Hats, etc. Embracing thirty-six illustrations. By A. Anderson. No. 78. ~qw TO DO THE .BLACK ART.-Containing a com. plete descnpt1on of the mysteries of Magic and Sleight of Hand together with many wonderful experiments. By A. Anderson'. Illustrated. MECHANICAL. No. 29. HOW TO BECOME AN INVENTOR.-Every boy shoul~ ~now how inventions originated. This book explains them all, g1v1~g example~ in electricity, hydraulics, magnetism, optics, pneumatics, mechamcs, etc. The most instructive book published. No. 5?. HOW TO BECOM~ AN ENGINEER.-Containing full mstruct10ns how to proceed m order to become a locomotive engi~eer; also dir~cti_ons for buildi_ng a model locomotive; together with a full description of everytbmg an engineer should know. No. 57. HOW TO MAKE MUSl!'~AL INSTRUMEN'l'S.-Full directions bow to make a Banjo, Vio1in, Zither, 2Eolian Harp, Xylo ph~ne. and other musical inst~ume1?ts; together with a brief de scr1pt1on of nearly every musical mstrument used in ancient or modern times. Profusely illustrated. By Algernon S. Fitzgerald, for twenty years bandmaster of t'he Royal Bengal Marines. No. 59. HOW '1'0 MAKE A MAGIC LANTERN.-Contaiuing a description of the lantern, together with its history and invention. Also full directions for its use and for painting slides. Handsomely illustrated. By John Allen. No. 71. HOW TO DO MECHANICAL TRICKS.-Containinc complete instructions for performing over sixty Mechanical Trickl. By A. Ander-son. Fully illustrated. LETTER WRITING. No. 11. HOW TO WRITE LOVE-LETTERS.-A mMt com plete little book, containing full directions for writing love-letter9, and when to use them, giving specimen letters for young and old. No. 12. HOW TO WRI'.rE LETTERS TO LADIES.-Giving complete instructions for writing letters to ladies on all subjects; also letters of introduction. notes and requests. No. 24 HOW TO WRITE LETTERS TO GENTLEMEN.Containing full directions for writing to gentlemen on all subjects; also giving sample letters for instruction. No. 53. IIOW TO WRITE LE'CTERS.-A wonderful little book, telling you how to write to your sweetheart, your father; mother, sister, brot'her, employer; and, in fact, everybody and any body you wish to write to. F.lvery young man and every young lady in the land should have this book. No. 74. HOW TO WRITE LETTERS CORRECTLY.-Con-. taining full instructions for writing letters on almost any subject; also rulea for punctu&tion ancl compe1itiOD, witla ll)ICU!IID letters.


THE STAG. No. 41. THE BOYS Ol!' NEW YORK END MEN'S JOKE BOOK.-Containing a great variety of the latest jokes used by the m

Latest "Secret Service" Old and Young King Brady, Detectives. COLORElD Coy ER.'3. 32 PAGES. PRICE 6 CENTS. 671 The Bradys and the Bootblack; or, Bagging the "Boss of the B end." 572 The Bra dys and the Blotted Check; or, Saved by the Scratch of a Pen. ti73 'l'he Bradys and the Missing Witness; or, The Secret of the Hole in the Wall. 674 The Bradys In Little China; or, The Mystery of a Mission House. 6 7 5 T h e Bradys and the Midnight Men; or, A Fight for Five Lives. 576 The Bradys' Fasj; Freight Mys t ery; or, The Case of Conductor King, "All Around Weekly" Containing Stories of All Kinds. C0L01tE D COVERS. 32 PAGES PRICE 5 CENTS. 6 Phil Faraday, the Young Explorer; or, Adventures in Savage Africa. 7 The Dark Corners of New York; or, The Perils of a District Telegraph Mess enge r. 8 The Ste p s o f Doom. A Tale of t h e L and o f the Incas. 9 Old S lxly;" or, T h e Last Run o f t h e Sp ec ial. 10 The S ec rels o f t h e D i amo nd I s land 11 Galloping O 'Hagan; or, The Bold F r ee-Ri d e r 1 2 The Youn g Sin ba d ; or Bac k from the Grave for Vengeance. 1 3 S c hoolboys Afloat; or, A Tri p Around t h e W or ld 14 A mong t h e Thugs; or, T w o Yankee Boy s I n I n di a. 15 The S ec r e t Gl en; or, The Mysterious W ar-Chief. "Fame and Fortune Weekly" Containing Storie s of Boys Who Make Mon e y. COLORED COV E RS 32 PAGES. PRICE 6 CENTS. 218 A Mad Broke r s Sch eme; or, The Corner that Couldn't be Worke d 219 Doll ars From Dust; or, The Boy Who Worked a Silver Mine 22 0 Billy Black, the Broke r s Son; or, The Worst Boy in W all Stree t. 221 Adri f t in the Sea; o r, Th e Treasure o f Lon e R eef. 222 The Young Wall Street Jonah; or, The Boy Wbo Puzzled the Broke rs. 223 W i r e l ess Will; or, The Success of a Young T e l egraph Operator. 224 W a ll Stree t Jones ; or, Trimming t h e Tricky Traders. 225 Fred the Faker; or, The Succ ess of a Young Stree t M erchant. 226 The L a d From 'Frisco; or, Pushing the "~ig Bonanza. A Wall Street Sto ry. 227 The Lure of Gell; or, The Treasure of Coffin Rock. Issues --.a ''Pluck and Luck'' Containing Stories of Adventure. OoLOlllEID COVER.'3, 32 PAGES. PRICE 6 CENTS, 604 Little Buffalo Bill, The Boy Scout of the Rio Del Norte. By An Old Scout. 606 The School at Burr Knob; or, The Trials of a Bey Teacher. By Allan Arnold. 606 Charley Barnes' Bank; or, How a Penny Made a Fortune. By H.K. Shackleford. 607 Gallant Jack, the Naval Schoolboy; or, Appointed by the President. By Howard Austin. 608 The Little Boss; or, The Boy Who Owned the Mill. By Allyn Draper. 609 Count Charlie; or, The Most Unpopular Boy In Town. By Jas. C. Merritt. "The Liberty B<;>ys of '76" A Magazine Containing Stories of the American Revolution. COL

WILD A magazine Containing Stotties, Sketehes, ete., of (Uestettn llif e. El""'Y' .A.N" 01.J.:O SCC>U-T. 32 PAGES HANDSOME COLORED COVERS PRICE 5 CENTS I All of tl:fase exciting stories are founded on f a cts. Young Wild West is a hero with whom the author was acquainted. His daring deeds and thrilling adventures have never b een surpassed. They form the ba se of the most dashing stories ever published, Read the following numbers of this most interesting magazine and be convinced: I LATES T ISSUES: I :151 Young Wild West's Plucky Fig'.lt; or, The Shot That Saved a Life. 1 323 Young Wlld West and the Death Sign; or, The Secret of the ForI 352 Young Wild West on the Border: or, Arietta Between Two Fires. gotten Hanch. I 353 Young Wild West Trailing a Treasure; or, A Mystery of Old 324 Young \\"lid \Yest's Nevada Vengeance; or, Arietta and the Buried ~lexico. 3 25 Gold. 354 Young Wild West Stan/ling a Siege : or. How Arietta Saved Ulm. Young Wlld West's Cowboy Cavalry; or, Saving the Besieged Sol 355 Young Wild West and the Fighting Fifteen; or, The Raid of the dleis Savage Sioux. 326 Young \\"lid 'i\ "est and the Overland Express; or, Arietta and the 356 Young Wild West Lassoing the Lynchers; or, Arletta's Quick "G1111 Fhd1te1" I Shot. 327 Young \\"ild \\"est Playing It Alone; or, A Game for Life or 357 Young Wild W est and 'Arizona Al"; or, The Wonderful Luck Death. of II Cow b oy. 3:08 Young \\"lid 'i\ "est and the Dynamite Gang; or, Arietta and the 358 Young Wild West Corraling the Road Agents; or, Arietta and Hot.>bers uf Uolden 8trip. the Outlaw's Rride. 329 Young \\"1ld Wests Urnb Stake, and How it Made a l 'ortune. 3!19 Young Wild West Facing His Foes; or, Tbe Sbake-up at Shiver 330 Young Wild \\'ests D eath D efiance : or, Arietta and the Danite~. Split. 331 Young Wild West in Crooked Canyon : or, The Underground Trail 360 Young Wild West Stopping a Stampede; or, Arietta and the Cow to No )lan's Lund Girls. 332 Young 'i\ lld \\"est aud "i\laverick Mike''; or, Arietta and the 361 Y oung Wild West"s Hottest Trail; or, The Gold Cache of the HoundUp. Desert. 333 Young \Yild West Chasmg the Mexicans; or, The "Hurrah" at 362 Young Wild Wests Rifl e Du el; or, Arietta's Cross Fil'e 334 y0 ~~'g1 \{-~\'f N!~t aftJl' tne Death Band., or, Saving Arietta fro m 363 Young Wild West and 'Domino Dick''; or, The llroncho Bustel'' s Bad Break. the !:lec r e t Caves. A 'Hard Fight '"!th 364 Young Wild West Trapping the rrorse Thieves: or, Al'iettas 335 Young Wild West Saving His Partners; or, Quick Work. ".~G Redskins. 365 Young .Wild West and the Choctaw Chief; or, The Hidde n Valley ,,. Young Wild \\'est l'ighting the Cattlemen; or, ;\rietta's Brand-and the Lost Tribe in :; Ma,k. i 366 Young W'ild West Followed by Fiends: or, Arlette and the Piot-1137 Young W'IJ/1 'i\"Pst nnd the Two-Gun Man; or, Clean ng up a ters. i rinlng ('nmp. a:is Yon n g Wi ld West's rr,tirie ('base; or, Arietta and the Wolf 367 Young Wild West and the Cactus Queen; or, The llandlts of l'ack. the Sand Hills. 330 Young ,Ylld W est Holding the Hill : or, The Fight for the Cave 368 Young Wild West in Death Canyon; or, Arietta and the Mad of Golcl Minel'. ll40 Y o un g \Yild West's Cowboy Avengers; or, Arietta and the Mus369 Youn11: ~ ild W est.'s Crnck Cavalry: or, The Rhot 'l'hnt Won the Day. tang H opc 1 s. 370 Young \Yild \,\"est An Asa.ssi11; or, Ariet1n anc! the 'l'oughs. 341 Young 'i\"i ld \\"est and "Velvet Bill" ; or, Baffling the Bandit 3 71 Young Wild West .'s 8h01 i11 1 h e D1tl'k: Ol', \I imd11g II is\\" eight in Gold. nnn


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