Young Klondike's Mastodon mine; or, The biggest strike of all

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Young Klondike's Mastodon mine; or, The biggest strike of all

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Young Klondike's Mastodon mine; or, The biggest strike of all
Series Title:
Young Klondike
Old Miner ( Author of Young Klondike )
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
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1 online resource (30 p.)


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels ( lcsh )
Gold mines and mining -- Fiction ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
025503038 ( ALEPH )
15009193 ( OCLC )
Y14-00021 ( USF DOI )
y14.21 ( USF Handle )

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I ssued Seini Monihly By Subscription $1.25 per year. Entered as Second {!lass Matte r at the New Yor k Post Office, by Frank Tousey No. 22. NEW YORI{, JANUARY 4, 1 899: Price 5 C ents.


,, "' i . 1 Ove 12noo NP.UJ & 0 1 d Books & Libraries in Stock, Exchangeable, Y 0 UJi' li Wosf{LO NDE f Ill. Stories of a Gold Seeker. ssued Senii-Monthly-By'SubsC?ipti'On $1.25 per year. Entered as Second Class 1 latte? at the Ntw York, N. Y .. Post Office, March 15, 1898. FJntered according to Act of Congress in the11ear 1899, i" tile office of the Librarian of Cong1ess, JVashinoton, D. C., by Frank 1'ousey, 29 West 26th Street, New York. 22. NEW YORK, Jan uary 4 189 9 Price 5 Ce n ts. Young Klondike's Mastodon Mine; -ORHE BIGGEST STRIKE OF ALL. BY AUTHOR OF YOUNC KLONDIKE. CHAPTER I. OFF FOR MASTODON CREEK OORAY for Young Klondike !" ooray for the boss ood-by !" ood luck!" ome back to us soon!" se and many similar cries rang out as the dog oved away fro m Death Creek. ood-by, boys Good -by !" was shouted back, ie dogs trotted off upon the frozen Klondike, up the river, and were soon lost to view around jecting bluff which jutted far out into the on't like the look of the sky, not for a cent," ked old Silas Rigby, the superintendent of the Creek mine, as he turned back toward the ng-house. "I'd like to bet a sixpence it's go snow." ody seemed very anxious to take the old man d no wonder, for from a season of intense coldbelow zero, in fact-it had suddenly grown r, and there was a chilliness to the air which t really more unpleasant than it had been while d lasted. s very evident that it was going to snow. d job if they get caught in the storm," rethe old man to one of the miners. "I'm they won't have time to put it through to on Creek before it comes on, either, but there no use in talking to them ; Young Klondike o; no power on earth can stop him once his made up." ng given utterance to this opinion, old Silas :vent into the shaft house and began -the busithe day. were two of the dog sleds, both large, com-fortable affairs, drawn by six well-trained dogs In 1'!iirfirst rode Ned Golden, otherwise known as Klondiky," an(J his partner, ick Luckey, of the how famous miningf-firm of Gold 11 & Luckey. But a comparatively short time before these two young men had been poor clerks in New York City, whereas now, such had been their success at mining on the Klondike they had become the king pins of the great Alaskan gold fields, so to speak. On the next sled rode a little man and a bright, sweet-faced young girl. The latter was Miss Edith Welton, a young lady whom Ned Golden had saved from a wrecked steamer on the way north from Seattle, when he first came to the Klondike. At the time, Edith had been on her way to Dawson City in search of her father, an old Californian miner, but failing to find him, this smart little business woman-and Edith was all of that. had cast her fortunes with the firm of Golden & Lucket, of which she was a member. Fortune ha.d favored their mining operations, and now Edith was as rich as her partners, and that even for the Klon dike, was saying a good deal, for Gold e n & Luckey were worth millions, as everybody knew. The little man who drove the second dog team was the famous Unknown, recognizable from the tall hat which he persisted in wearing, in spite of its entire inappropriateness to the climate. This singular indiv.idual professed to be a detective. He had been ass ociated with Golden & Luckey in all their undertakings, and yet they knew no more of him than the fact that he claimed to be in the Klon dike country searching for some mysterious criminal, whom he always styled his man. As to who this man was and wbat crime he had committed, Young Klondike knew nothing, and


' YOUNG KLONDIKE'S MASTODON MINE. stranger s1iill, they did not even know the na1 e of a little prnspecting and see what sort of a their friend, for the Unknowh would never divulge it was likely to prove. the secret-hence he remained the Unknown. "Not that I have overmuch faith in it," r "What do you think, Ned? Are we going to be Ned to Dick, as they rode along over the ice. able to make Mastodon Creek before the storm Cullagh did not strike anything so wonderfu catches us?" asked Dick, as the sled flew on over on Mastodon Creek, and I suppose we have the ice. to expect it; but at the same time we want "If I didn't think so I shouldn't have tried it," re-what sort of a claim it is. It wouldn't surpri plied Young Klondike, giving the leaders a cut with bit if we had a richer claim than we think the whip. "We ought to be able to run up Mastodon there." Creek about an hour after sunset if we can it up "Well," replied Dick, "and that's just wl the way we've !>tarted in." thinking, for between ourselves, Ned, alth The sun had not yet risen; it would have been dark may sound rather egotistical to say it, we but for the stars, which. shone with true Arctic bril-thing or two about prospecting these gold liancy. The winter day in the Klondike country is a that others do not know, and I have an idea t short one; two o'clock would see the sun down again are going to strike it rich here in Mast. odon C and it would be necessary to make the most of the I The short day wore on, and darkness wa -0.aylight, for it would not be all plain sailing for the upon our travelers, when true to the prognosti sleds; there were places where the ice was rough and of Silas Rigby, it began to snow. uneven and hummocks had formed.. It was I There was nothing it now to put it t Young Klondike's hope to get beyond this danger to the creek, or else go mto camp m the wood spot before night overtook them, for, in common Ned urged his dogs on faster, at the same tiI with everyone else, he believed in the coming storm. ing to the Unknown to make the best time he The wind vvas right, and the sudden rise of temper"There isn't more than an hour's run a .ature wa almost a sure sign. us," he called, "and I don't think it will sno' And yet no not familiar with t climate w5mld hard for awhile yet, the way it is coming dow have looked fQr a stbrm witl1 that brilliant dis-Ned was right, and during that hour the play 9v erhead. good time over tl;l._e ic But it was rely and bHore the 1:1 1 rose Mastodon now lay very near them, b the sky was overclouded and the stars vanished. trouble was it had grown so dark that there \Ya Dawn brought a dull, leaden sky, with eycry appear-ger of passing the place where they had to tur ance of snow. a narrow gorge, through which the creek flow On they pa$Sing Barney McGraw's mine and the Klondike. the mouth of Bon11nza creek, as well as the old To miss this point would be sure to bring no abandoned claim where Golden & Luckey made their trouble, and might mean death, for that sect start. when they first came to Klondike-" Welton-the Klondike was but little opened, and there "' ville," they c11lled it in honor of Editb. It made all mining camp nearer than seYeral miles. At hands feel rather melancholy to see the abandoned don Creek there were the mining buildings erec buildings half buried in :;;pow, but this mine, although Mr. McCullagh, and they were sure of shelte1 rich at the start, had soon "petered ont," as the say-I they could reach the place. ing is, sinee the days of their \Vellonville specu1 "We must be almost there now," remarked lati

I YOUNG KLONDIKE'8 MASTODON MINE. 8 -about all there was to judge by in that uncertain "You'll find that there is," said the detective. light. "We want to keep right on up the gorge. Hark Still this was very deceptive, as the mountains There goes the cry again! It puzzles me to know looked much alike even in daylight. what that can mean." Soon they were close to the shore, but no break There were to be other puzzling things before the was visible in the mountains. For more than a mile night bad passed, as Young Klondike and bis friends they kept on without coming to the creek. were soon to lea .rn. It was getting to be a very serious Faster None of them had ever visited the Mastodon Creek and faster the snow was falling, and the dogs were diggings, and they really knew: nothing about the lay beginning to show decided signs of fatigue. I of the land here, but this was scarcely necessary, Herc was another danger. since all they could do was to follow along up the If one of the dogs took it into his head to lie down gorge. the others would be pretty certain to follow his example. The fact of the matter was, they had gone as far as it was safe to go, and yet it was mo:r:e dangerous still to stop. Just as matters reached this critical pass, all hands 1vere startled by the loud blowing of a horn. 'rhey had not advanced far, when a turn in the gorge brought them in sight of a cluster of rough frame buildings, which dispelled all doubt. They had reached the McCullagh claim, for the situation of the buildings and their number were just such as had been described to them. Now, strangely enough, the horn was silent, and when they strained their ears to catch the cry again, it did not come. It seemed to come directly from the mountains ahead of them, and yet after all, this might be only the result of the echo; it was not easy to i;iay just ;vbere the sound did come from under the circumNed drove the dog team in under a covered shed, stances. which extended away from the and gav_e a loud It might mean another dog team stuck in the snow, hello, but the call was not answered. The silence of or it might be that some mining camp had been start-J grave to the deserted camp, ed up here in this desolate region, and that some of I" sme enough it proved to be. the miners we-re out on the ice and their friends were . ck was first to en ter t?e hut, and he hastened tryinoto guide them back. J t'o hght the l tern and j:1ash it ar und. "We'li follow the ho1p !" cried Ned; "there"s "No h re!" he f'lled. "jf>erhaps somebody some one near us that's certain !" can explain the mystery of all tha orn blowmg, but They kept on a little, the horn sounding at in-I'll be hange.d I can This place seems to be de-tervals. !:'ierted for fair. AU at once they came upon the mouth of a narrow "We won't try just yet awhile," replied the Ungorge leading back among the foothills. known, coming in at that moment. "It may be that "Hooray! Here's the place! Mastodon Creek at rthere is another camp near here. How about that, last!" shouted Ned. Ned?" Just then the horn was blown again and immedi"Don't know," called Ned, who was busy un-ately following the sound, a wild cry rang out upon harnessing the dogs with Edith's help. the storm. Edith was very fond of the dogs and liked to work There was no mistaking it; there could not be the over them. In the. sled was plenty of dried tundra least doubt that the cry came from some one in ser-grass for bedding, and as theycarriedtheirprovisions ious trouble. with them the dogs were soon feeding, and everythi11g It seemed to proceed from the gorge, and to Young made comfortable for them for the night. Klondike it seemed plain enough that it came from When Ned and Edith came into the hut they found some one lost in the storm. a crackling fire blazing on the hearth, and everything as snug as circumstances would permit. CHAPTER II. THE MYSTERIOUS HUT. " is all right," said the U n!rnown, "we've got through our journey safely, and for my part I could put m as comfortable a night here as I ever spent in my life, if it wasn't for the feeling that there must be "Is it MasMdon Creek, Ned? Do you feel that we are making no mistake?" sure somebody near us who needs help." It was Edith who put the question. Young Klondike had pulled in \ihe dogs and stopped for the other team to come up. It would not do at all to becorne separated in the storm. "I don't think there can be any doubt about its being the creek," replied Ned. "At all events it is some creek, and with all that horn blowing there ought to be shelter near." ,. "That's just what's the matter," replied Young Klondike. "What are we going to do about it? I don't feel much like settling down here for the night, with some suffering fellow creature near." "Yet, what are we to do?" asked Dick. "The horn has stopped blowing, arid we don't hear the cry any more. I don't see that there is anything to be done, unless-hello Here's a horn now Perhaps "'e can start them up again. This is just the thing."


4 YOUNG KLONDIKE'S MASTODON MINE. _Hagi:41g .the_ near the chin.mey, was a 1 it, coming at last to a point very near tm horn whicn Dick nnmediately ;i,ppropnated. I they JUdged the hut must have been seen. "You stay her.eand get dinner r.eady, Edith," said Ned flashed the lantern ahead, but could see not Ned. "We'll go out and prowl round a bit, blow the ing but snow. horn a few times, and see what we can strike." Pushing on a few steps further they sank so dee As they opened the door, a gust of wind blew the in the drift that they grew alarmed. To koop on wa snow into the hut, and Ned made haste to close it clearly impossible. There seemed to be perfect mo again. tains of snow here. "We positively can't go far," he said. "It would "We've got to give it up. There's no hut here!' be r}sking our lives on such a night." gasped the Unknown. Toot your horn, Dick Toot your horn !n cri.'l'W "I don't see how there can be," said Ned, deepl the Unknown, his words almost blown away by the puzzled. "And yet this is just the place where w wind. saw it-that's sure." Dick put the horn to his lips and blew a loud blast, "Do you know I think we haive passed the place,' which echoed and reechoed among the hills. j declared Dick. "There is something very mysteriou A moment more and the answer came. j in all this." The sound proceeded from up the gorge-there was lt was indeed so. If only one had seen the hut i no mistake about it. would be easy to imagine that itr.;might be nothin Ned flashed the lantern before them, and they huvbut an ocular delusion, but all had seen it and, beried on th'tough the snow. sides, there had been the cry and the blowing of the Then came tM 'cry and ; Dick shouted in answer, horn. blowing the horn But t11e mystery was not to be solved that night. Turning a bend:"in the gorge a moment later After blowing the horn again several times, caught sight of a bright light up on the side of the shouting until they were hoarse, they gave it up and hill. returned to Edith, who was as much puzzled as any Anotpe;r, hut!" cried Ned. "Don't you !". the strange occurrence. "I'll. be hanged if it isn't!" said the W01n.J; ,: :rt was a long tnne before ey could quiet down for "Look! Look! There are men up !"""" the night. Several d ayk fo ms could t be 'seel,l axon ll 1 Again ai)d again Youn& Klondike went out and before the door of small h'ut on tlle side of the hill. blew the horn,. but no answ fer came. _-_,Dick shouted to them and th13 shouts were an-At last they turpeQ in, and the.night passed away j qui.etly, taking the storm with it. :;,... At the same instant. a gust of wind swep At six o'clock, when Ned arose and went out apain, .. downthe gorge. .. .;the liltars were shining most brilliantly, and the moun .. "':::rt was so violent tha't;-'a.ll turned their backs to was. out in all her glory. break the force of it. 1 Young Klondike waded through the snow up the ,,As tp.ey did i;o the cry rang out again, seemingly gorge until he reached the point from which they frotP J;Uai;\y voices. ., .,... >. had seen the mysterious hut on the hill. 'The 1 ,Pl(bSSed by and all three turned aroun There was no hut visible. Up there on the hill-and looked up on the hill. -' '\ .., side like eve1 ywhere else, the snow lay deep and not An was dark now. "\ the first trace of the hut was to be seen. The light had vanished. If the hut "vas there they could not see it. 1 Dick blew the horn again and again,' and Ned a..11d the Unknown shouted, but there was no response. CHAPTER III. All was as still as death where they had s'een the hut, and look as they would the're was nothing visible but THE MYSTERY OF THE FROZEN MAN. the driving snow. "We must get up thete," declared Ned. "Some. "l THINK we must have all been dreaming," dething has happened to those poor fellows, although clared the Unknown when they sat down to breakfast I'm sure I can't imagine what it could have been to a little later. "There's no hut there and never change things so all'in a could have been, that's one of the sure things; the ..' "But can we get up there?" questioned the Unsnow is banked up on the hill there twenty feet ) known. "Is it possible without ,risking our lives?" deep." "At all event& we can try," declared Ned. "Let' The Unknown and Dick had just returned from an-go along a little and see what we strike." other trip up the hill, an expedition which resulted in 'They puslied on and soon had the satisfaction of 1 nothing, but this remark about the snow gave Ned coming to a place where there was an ei,l!sy ascent to r an idea. the place Wlili're they had seen the hut. "Look here, do you know what I think?" he ex-Here the snow was pretty deep and it grew deeper claimed, suddenly. and deeper as tl:iey advanced, but they w lowed "No, I'm sure I don't," replied the Unknown.


YOUNG KLONDIKE'S MASTODON MINE. 'You may think any old thing, but as I don't happen to be a mind-reader I can't tell what it is." "What lies above that place up there on the hill? Why should t .here be so much more snow there than anywhere else?" "I'll be blest if I can tell you, but there is, all the same. There are rocks above, I suppose, but they are all covered with snow, too." "I believe there was a landslide and the hut was buried. No one can ever talk me out of what I actu-ally saw." "By the Jumping Jeremiah, that is an idea!" cried the Unknown. "That means a lot of dead men.under the snow!" Edith shuddered. "Oh, the poor things!" sheexclaimed. "How ter rible if it should be so Something must be done at once to find out if Ned is right." Klondike country many miners have adopted the Indian moccasin. The only certain thing about the discovery was, that some party had been prowling around the hut in the early morning while Young Klondike's party slept. This was not a pleasant thought by any means. It worried Ned not a little: He regretted now that he had not asked Mr. McCullagh for a detailed account of the Mastodon mine property, but the fact was the deal had been made in such haste that he had never thought of it. The same with his -determination to visit the prop erty. Young Klondike had come to the condusion I suddenly and there had been no time to go to Daw son look up Mr. McCullagh and get a map or chart _.9f:..the place. But Young Klondike was not of the kind to scare easily, and his companions were just the same. The Unknown was sure that the trail. had been made b.y Indians, and the rest were iTh doubt. -It ended in the way these discussions usually ended, by the detective startmg off on his own hook to ex"If you'll let me out, Youpg Klondike, I'll pile "Still it seems too terrible to leave them there, ahead of the gorge," he said. I'll bet you a dollar .and we not even know who they are." "But what can we do?" asked Ned. "Clearly nothing If those men are there, they are dead, of course, and if we were to undertake to dig them out we wouldn't be able to do it in a week. There's a fear ful lot of snow ui) Edith ; you would have to see it. to understand.'' l\-nd a half I locate these peopre whoever they are. By "If we did know it would not du therp any good nor . . the 1;.ime you get ready to start I shall be back." us, either; but we'll wait till daylight before we explore ;;.v.I tl t t tb k f t h Kntlw 1a l was no use o m o s oppmg the gorge, and then first of all we 11 go up t ere on h -< a 1 t h' h ill ,, t e an o e im go on is way reJ01cmg, the h agam. 1.,.,1,.,...,., d d th t f l 1 :i;i; an v1 ma eir prepara i ons or a t>ca.This plan, however, was not carded out, \for ] tiou at the Mas odon .I daylight the .who was p_r.owlmg It was decided to use hut for tl he present, as it around outside, made another discovery which was was within half a mile of the exte 1> on to the tlaim by no means pleasant. which was now the property of Golden & Luckey. "Come here, Ned!''. he called, as Young Klondike So the first thing to do was to unpack the goods, opened the door of the hut. "Come here, quick !" arrange for firewood and water, and to make a place "Now the Unknown was over on the other side of where the dogs could remain comfortably for a few the gorge where a perpendicubr wall of rock rose to days. a height of several hundred feet. These and other things absolutely necessary for He :was be;nding down and examining something in such work as they now proposed to engage in had to the snow be done before it would be safe to start in to explore "Wna.t 11q;ve you struck?" callea Ned. their claim. "Indhi11r;;,;' replied the tj.etective. "Ye gods and I Itwaseleveno'clockbeforetheywerethroughwith little, it's Indians sure!" it all, and the Unknown had not returned. "Where are they? I don't see your Indians. You Now if it had been anyone else the boys might have can't scare me," replied Ned. felt worried, but they knew the detective's habits too "Well, now, just you look at this trail. There, well to feel much anxiety on his account. what do you make of that?" "You'd bette!' bringin i:!i few pails more water be-The Unknown pointed down upon the snow, where, 1 fore we start, Dick," said Ned, who was busy pack sure enough, there were the imprints of many feet; ing a knapsack with provisions enough to last for whoever it was that had made the footprints, they hours, without which they made it a rule seemed to have gone up the gorge. never to start away. "We shall need it when we get "Are you sure it's Indians?" asked Ned. "Can back, and I'm sure none of us will want to be cutting you be certain of that?" ice and lugging water then." "Look for yourself." "That's what's the matter," said Dick. "I'll go "Oh, I see the trail, all right, but how do you know right along/' it was made by Indians?" They had cut a hole in the ice over the frozen creek "Do I know the print of a moccasined foot when I and brought in water for the dogs a short time besee one, or don't I?" fore, and Dick now took two pails and went to the But this was not final, by any means, for in the place for more. ;


6 Y OUNG 'DIKE'S MAS T O D O N M INE. He had just filled the second bucket when shots were heard up on the heights on the other si .cle the creek, coming apparently from some distance a .rny. This was startling. Neel and Edith came rumting qut of the hut to find out what the ma,tter '\Yas, but Dick could not tell them. There was no mistaking the tree. It was certain! a promment landmark, and what was more, its dis tance from the hut was just a.bout two thousand feet Tbc gorge now 'began turning and they passec through several windings which made it hard to cal cula .te the distance. Four shots were altogether, and then all was All at once they passeu in under a great projectin still. ledge which had so sheltered the place from the stor "That means the Unknown, I'll bet a hat," de-that the ground was bare for quite a distance; be clarcd Ned. "We want to start right on now." yond this there was a little snow, and stretched ou It certainly was alarming, and it made them a 11 foel upon it Ned perceived a man. that it was rather unsafe to leave the dogs a nd their "Look! Look!" cried Dick at tbe same instant goods behind them, but this was something wliirh "See that man on the ground there Can it be th could not be helped. .--Unknown?" we don't anybody up tllere," remarkI !"said Edith. "Too big for Zed. Don'' ed Dick, who kept his eyes fixed upon the ru c l,{s as suggest 1t !" they pushed on through the snow up the gone. I "It never is," added Ned. "Say, Dick, there'. "I don't know as it is," replied Edith. "It "'rn.ay been mining done there. See where the earth ha only have been the Unk)lown fidng at rabbits, or perbeen piled up? See the brushwood heap? Some on haps a mo0$e. Because we heard the shots i t don't has been prospecting our claim." follow that.there are Indians around." As they pushed forward all eyes were fixed upo "Of course not," said Ned. "There are a dozen the man, of course. ways of explaining the shots, but still, taken in c onnec-He d!d not move Ned was sure that he was dead, tion with the footprints, looks as though they meant and he was just about to say so when Dick stopped more than rabbits short with an exclamation of astonishment, and n "How far is it to the beginning of our claim?" wonder, for right ahead of them, just behind the prosasked Dick. "Whattaark do we go b y?" trate man, was a sLrnnge sight. "Why, Mr. out t" t h o11sand Herc, owing to a break in the rocky wall which enfeet on the creek for his claim, and we a r e t 'ti bled the water to trickle down from the heights the next two thousand," replied W od. 'fb;, .. k above, an immense quantit? or i" e had formed, com-is a crooked fir tree on the right p.i .. filJ-ing a dee ind"'ntation iu t h e rock. "There are cl of fi,if tr,ees he1\i, that's rather Such ick holes a' t hese a 1"" common in the Klondike indefinite." 1 country. In them the icekever fully melts/ but some "1. es but thi'sv one is so crooked that it forms a times great masses of it breaks away and fall of theit rcguhr S.' It is very marked, Mr. McCullagh own weight. said; be assured me that we couldn't mistake it." Just such a thing had happened here and that qui t e "We ought to be pretty near it now," said Edith, recently, to all appearances; for the broken pieces of "but after we leave this crooked tree how far does ice lay scattered about on the snow. our line run?" But the breaking away 1 of the ice had revealed a "Two thousand feet more up the gorge.'' wonderful sight. "And beyond that?" ... There, embedded in the icy wall, stood the skeleton "Oh, beyond that Mr. McCullagh owns : for a remains of a mastodon; one of those strange prehis-mile.'' toric elephants with curved tusks, which are fre" Pity we didn't take that, too, while we were about quently found in Alaska, as well as other parts of the it," remarked Dick. "I suppose we could have got Arctic regions. it for little or nothing.'' The skeleton was perfect, as far as could be seen. Ned laughed. "Why, I didn't forget that," he In some mysterious way the animal had perished said. "I took the refusal of the balance of the claim in there between the rocks, and the ice had formed for ninety days; didn't I tell you, Dick?" around hhn agi;!s before, now to be exposed by the "No; you never mentioned it. break whieh ha.,d occurred no one can tell how. that was an oversight. If we find anything "A fossil mastodon frozen in the ice!" cried rich on our two thousand feet we can take up with "That thing would be worth a fortune if we could the rest any time within the next sixty cays; you get it out and send it to the States." know it's just thirty days since we signed the papers "It's ours-it's on our own land!" exclaimed on this Mastodon Creek deal.'' Edith. "But that man-we mustn't forget him! "There's your crooked tree, boys!" cried Edith, How still he lies! Ned, I fear tbe worst!",, suddenly, pointing at the same time up to the rocks "You think he is frozen, and I'm sure of it," said on their right. "Push on! In a moment we shall Ned, quietly "Yes, Edith, we have to deal with be on our own land; I'm mighty curious to see what death here. I felt it from the first. '.' this claim looks like anyhow. It strikes me it's going A few steps further qrought them to the spot, and _to be hard work mining under this snow." Ned's worst fears were realized.


YOUNG KLONDIKE"S MASTODON :\'IINE. 7 e man, a rough-looking fellow dressed in the do now," said Dick. "We can't retreat, I suppose. 1 style of a Klondike prospector, was quite dead, We've got to do our fighting here." en stiff at the foot of the skeleton of that giant "Yes, we can ret.reat, too." t, which had met with a similar fate ages upon "Where?" before. ''Up on the mastodon." here was something awe-inspiring in the sight. "Thunder! How?" man lay on his back with his face turned up"Why, there's room enough between the ribs and d, cold and still, and as white as marble. the ice to lodge us all right, and the bones are almost e projecting ledges above the mastodon had pro-big enough to hide us. 1 say let's go up there." ed him from the snow, and it had also left uncov"Can we climb up?" queried Ned. "I like the sug-a prospect hole almost between the legs of the gestion if we can." todon; there were mining tools scattered about, "We can try," said the detective, with his usual the heap of gravel removed from the hole, while energy. 'I thought likely I should meet you here. ost within reach of the man's hand lay a great Strange about this poor fellow, is it not? I wonder s of stuff, part quartz rock, part yellow clay, with who he can be?" sands of minute yellowish points bristling out a ll There was no time to speculate on the dead man it. then, and Nod never even stopped to answer, but be-nother might not have given it a thought, but gan to climb up the mastodon's leg. ng Klondil>:e's practiced eye detecte4 i ,ts trqe It was easy enough for him io reach the ribs; and acter at a Dick and Edith sa\y it, with Dick's help below and Ned's above, Edith man -ll aged to get up. .. nugget!" cried Dick. ''A big nugget as sure Dick and the Unknown speedily followed. te." "Not very secure, I must say," declared Young Dick had looked up the gorge just then, he would Klondike. "If the Indians take it into their heads seen something which might have interested to look up, as they probably will, I don't see how quite as im1ch as the nugget. they can fail to see us; perhaps after nll it would have was a little man with a taJl haL tilted on the back been safer to have retreated fo the hut." s head, running toward them as fast as his legs .flon't tnink so," replied the U11known. "In d carry him. I the irst place we never could have reached it withYes, it is gold," said Young Klond picking up J outlbeing s,cen, besides that it woul d only have nugget, which was all he could easily lift. "rlt is 1 ml."1n i. si ege in th!e hut, whicU would have ended in -pure gold !" certain capture." f Indians! Indians!" was shouted at the same mo"And now," said Dick, "it vill end in all our things t. being stolen, and like enough the dogs along with the ere was the Unknown running toward the frozen rest. A bad job; almost enough to make us think todon, wildly waving his hand. seriously of killing those fellows if we get the chance." But altho1,1gh Dick said this be did not mean it. Young Klondike's party were not the kind to do CHAPTER IV. killing, even of Indians, unless it was a matter of life and death. WORKING A DEAD MAN'S MINE. I . "Where did you first strike them ?" Ned asked, as course the sudden appearance of the detective they sat there waiting for the Indians to appear. his startling announcement threw everyone into I "Why, I followed the trail until I came to this te of excitement. place," replied the detective, "naturally I stopped to d and Dick grasped their rifles, and Edith, who have a look at the mastodon and the dead man and decidedly the best shot of the three, unslung hers all the rest." made ready for business once. "See 1,,he big nugget?" here are your Indians ?" demanded Ned, as the "No; I saw no nugget." nown came up all breathless. "Look down there-see, there it lies." ight up the gorge, and don't you forget it By "Thunder Is that a nugget?" umping Jeremiah, there's half a dozen of them!" "Yes, it is, and a mighty rich one, too." the excited reply. "That dirty brown It's hard to believe hat means business for us," replied Ned, "but it." 't scare worth a cent are they-Copper"It's a nugget, fast enough; but about the Ins?" dians ?" hat's just what they are, and the very worst "Wen, I went on up the gorge, and finding the ns we have to deal with, as you very well know," snow pretty deep I was just about to turn back when ed the detective. "They are armed with rifles, I saw that the trail went up on the rocks." Didn't you hear them firing at me? Ye gods "And you followed it?" little ft.shes, I thought I was a goner then!" I "Oh, yes, followed it up to a big plain or table-ever mind what happened then-tell us what to land above here where the woods are thick. There I


8 YOUNG KLONDIKE'S MASTODON MINE. lost it among the trees, and I was just thinking about giving it up and returning when I got the I wonder if he can be the man we bear:d ca for help last night?" mused Dick, "or has he too long dead for that?" shots." "From the Indians?" "Must have been from the Indians, although I "I think he has been dead at least twenty hours," replied the detective. didn't see them then." "Why do you say so ?" "What did you do?" "Why, I climbed a tree. Don't believe they fired at me, for what did they do but come and camp within a dozen yards of that very tree. Here they built "Oh, I judge from his appearance; still I woul be .sure. I suppose now you'd like to know wh is?" "Well, of course it would interest me," said D a fire, skinned a pair of rabbits and were cooking them, when I managed to slip out of the tree and "What if we go through his pockets? I was going to suggest it when you came along and g came mighty near making my escape without being us that Indian scare.,, seen. Didn't quite fetch it, though." "We'll do it now,'' said Ned. "I kind of hate "Oh, they got sight of you, did they?" though." "Yes, they did, and they hunted me down the mountain. I managed to give them the slip and"Well, if you hate to you needn't do it,'' said bush! Here they come now!" Unknown, "for it wouldn't be the least use." Looking up the /gorge all could see a band of six "Nol You have done it already I take it." Indians coming afong over the snow. 1 "That's what I have. Some one has been thro They were so bundled -up in skins that it was hard that poor fellow before we ever saw him; that's to tell whether they were men or women. I I say I thmk he _have been at least twe Three were certainiy men, for they carried rifles. four My idea is that he died befo _re the st In their silent way they moved on looking neither began. to the right or the left. "Probably got caught in the cold snap night bef When they came up to where the dead man la y they last,'' said Ned Well, we can't help him, b merely glanced at him, and never looked up at the :vant to_ have a look at this mine, and don't like lo mastodon at all. mg at lum, so l propose we bury the poor wretch ri Indeed it was quite ev ident from their a-cti

YOUNG KLONDIKE"S MASTODON MINE. 9 cover things up, but it won't take me long to make it f "Oh, itf s here all right," replied Ned, "but it's ut." I wedged in so firm that I can't budge it." There was a rope with a bucket attached lying near, "Let me have a look." ut no windlass had been built. Ned stood aside and showed Dick just such another As soon as Ned gave his attention to the mine, he mass of disintegrated quartz sticking in the bottom a.w that there must have been more than one man of the shaft. t work on it. "How else could he have handled this bucket?" he sked. "It would have been just impossible for him o do it alone." "Not impos"S'ible," said Dick, but it isn't likely e did it. If he had been alone he would have rigged ip a windlass sure." ". "Well, let me down and I'll see what there is to be een," said Ned, and Dick lm'1ered the bucket over he edge of the hole just enongQ. fq.r Ned to have a hance to sta11d on Ned took his place upon it and with the rope bear ng over the hole, he was lowered down into the bot om of the shaft. .., There_was about three inches of snow here. The "Gold!" "Yes; sure." "If it goes down as far as it projects out of the ground it's a big one." "My theory is that it goes further." "And bow do you figure tha. t out?" "I think that the one we found up there was broken off of this." "Shouldn't wonder a bit-came off right there at that break." Yes. W c'll soon know. Here, you take the pick and I'll work the bar." "ls it coming, boys?" you are down there." "It's coming all right. time and we'll send you never saw." called Edith. "How slow Just give us a few minutes' up such a nugget as you ;ides : of the shaft were bard frozen and presented the sual appearance. There was no trace of gold to be eeu in the gravel, and the bole -had not been put But in spite of Ned's encouraging -SJ>eeCh it was own deep enough to reach_ the black sand deposit, bard work, for the ground around thenugget was hich is found all over the Klondike eountry. l frozen solid. It is in this black sand that the first traces of gold "Olr, if we only dared tl ght a fire," groaned ay be looked for, yet it is often found above the1 f>ick, piCking aw f' y for dear Ii e. and and even on the surface, partie

10 YOUNG MASTODON MINE. Dick was going. to call out but Ned stopped him, I He could see it nowhere, and had been tryi feeling afraid that the might be near. ever since to get a sight of it. But his fears were groundless as far as that werit, "You can explain it in whatever way you w for as soon as the detective caught sight of them he boys," he added, "but as for me, I can't explain it c shouted : all. It's the most mysterious thing I ever ran "Come here, boys Come here By gracious, this I aialnst sjnce the day I was born." is a singular thing." Acrid, indeed, Mastodon Creek seemed to be all my "What is it? Where are the Indians?" answered tery. Ned, hurrying toward the place. ,,.-Days pa3sed, and nothing was seen or heard oi t I'll be blest if I know where they are. I never lndians. caught sight of them afterward. I wasn't talking The weather was singularly mild for a Klondi about that." winter, and as a.11 hands went faithfully to work ne What then? What's the matter with you, any-morning and kept steadily at it, they made go how? 1' headway on the "dead man's claim," as they ca Come here! Come here Let the Indians go to blazes! By the Jumping Jeremiah, this beats the band!" Evidently the U nlmown was highly excited, and the Indians were decidedly at a discount. "One thing at a time," said Ned, as they came up. "Where are the Indians ? Naturally I want to know." to call the mine under the mastodon. The prospect bole was cleared out, and by aid of huge frost fire, kept burning in the bottom for four hours, they were able to run it down to the blac sand level, where gold mi,ght naturally be looked f if it was to be found at ali ._-Meanwhile, another shaft was started further u the gorge by Edith and the Unknown: A frost fir was built here and tended by Edith. "And naturally I'd tell you if I could, but I don't The Unknown did the clearing away of the asbe know myself." and as soon as the softened ground was exposed Ne "Have you been to the hut?" and Dick would quit work in No. 1 and go and dig a "Yes." far as they could, generally only a foot or so. "Is everything all r ght ?" { Then they would return to their own work, leavin "Right a-s the mail. Not a thii!{g <_!istnrt:f'.l. Edith t o sta.rt a fresh fire and get ready for the don't belie1:e the Indian been at > agam. "Where t n thunder di they go, then? They cer-During these operat1 ons the remainder of the nu0 tainly did uot have time to get out of the gorge." get was worked out. "Ned, it's no use to ask me. I know uothing about The three pieces fitted perfectly, and as far a the Indiaus, but I do know something else." Young Klondike could judge the gold value could no "Let him get it out-let him get it out!" cried have been less than twenty-five t .housand doll ars. Dick. "Don't you see the Unknown has something Tbis, however, was mere guess work based on th to say and that he's dying to say it. Do let ::.iim weight. No on e can tell the value of a big nugget o speak." gold so mixed in with quartz and clay as this wa "Well, then," said the detective, "if I may be al-without' first removing the worthless parts. lowed to speak at last I've seen the mysterious hut The three pieces of the nugget were packed care on the mountain again." fully away in the but-hidden under the floor, in fact "No!" they all cried in a breath. where they would be safe in case of an attack by In "Oh, yes, I have! No mistake this time." dians or any of the numerous bands of toughs wh "Show it to us! Point it out For Heaven's sake, like t(} make trouble for lonely prospectors on th let us know where it is," Ned exclaimed. Klondike. "Just what I can't do, dear boy," replied the deSo the days passed quietly with plenty to. do, plent tective, looking up at the rocks in a puzzled way. "I to eat and good prospects. saw it, and then it vanished again, but where it went Young Klondike had every reason to hope for grea to beats me." things from his work on the dead man's claim. Here was certainly an astonishing statement. When they came to question the Unknown it appeared that he had gone so far as the hut, and finding everything all right, started to return. When he had almost reached the water's edge, happening to look up on the rock, he saw the mysterious hut distinctly, but just at that moment a gust of wind came sweeping down the gorge and blew his hat off. CHAPTER V. THE MYSTERIOUS HUT FOUND. "WELL, do you expect to make your big strike to day, Young Klondike?" asked the Unknown, on morniug after they had been thus working away fo several days. The Unknown turned, picked up his hat and clap"I'm sure I don't know," replied Ned. "It's boun ped it on his head, and then turned to have an-to come sooner or later. I have faith in the Mastodo other look at the hut, but it had vanished. I mine."


YOUNG KLONDIKWS MINE. 4 1 be spent br "Row long are provisioned ?"inquired the deI have to mgmg up tools from the tective, rather anxiously, for as it happened, he had hut. 0 1 / . Th o s were not o 1 d N d paid but little attention to the fittmg out of the exped1' e 1 ff>'<.l rs, rep ie e . E Y so k t 11 th tion, and did not know. x. th _,Jr;., ma es 1 a e worse. "Why, we are good for a month yet," replied Ned. How.ii." ?" "You need not worry about that at all. Perfectly safe H W./, N ea, it proves that there are people hang3ven if a blizzard strikes us." ing around us still, watching every move we make. "Which we may expect almost any time." You may like that but I don't. That it makes me "Of course. Shan't worry about it till it comes, nervous I can't deny." though.'' "Probably it was the Indians,'' said Edith, throwing "That's right; never borrow trouble. Say, Young a fresh armful of brushwood upon the fire. "Why Klondike, I've seen the hut again." don't you go down to the hut and bring up our iron No tools, boys, and stop this everlasting talk ? "Oh, yes, I have. When I went to draw-water this "It wasn't Indians!" said Dick, shaking his head morning, I caught sight of it, but as luck would have emphatically. "There are people us-I it I changed my position and it vanished again and know it Wait and see." after that I couldn't strike it at all." After some further talk, it was decided to go to the ''What's the position got to do with it?" hut for the tools at once. "Everything I You can see it in one position, and Edith would have remained at the fire, but the boys in another you can't." would not bear to it, so they all started down the gorge "Is that the explanation of it?" together, and as they walked on, Ned told about the "I'm sure it is; say, am I wanted particularly to-Unknown, and how he claimed to have seen the mysday up at the mines ?" terious hut again. . Well, I don't know as you are ; you don't do so "Well," said Dick, "you may laugh at the hut, much, anyhow." Ned, and think it a waste of time to talk any more "Come I like that! You're hard on a fellow about it, but; I tell you it ought to be looked into. The :Who works for all be is worth Haven't I been rak v Unknown is quite right." h1g ashes for a week?" WheH Dick made this they w e close to OP., never mind than! We can get along without t h a.t part f)rthe creek ie water h le had been you if you want to m ake a t rip into the mount ain. I cut. All at once the shrill last of a ho n was heard suppose tha t s what you are driving at ?" up on the rocks to the dght. / "No, ir. I want to look for the hub." "The horn again !" cried Dick. ''This must be Ob, bother the hut!" exclaimed Young Klondike. looked into at once." ,., :.m j;ired of thinkmg about it. Good-by, Zed; I'm .'' mn""-tu work." "Hello! Hello, Young Klondike! Hello, Dick! ymg, Ned left the Unknown and hurried off Hello, Edith! Hello, everybody!" a loud voice cried. gorge after Edith and Dick, who had already "It's the Unknown!" Edith exclaimed. ;.gone to the shafts. Surely it was the detective's voice, but where was "Here's a go!" cried Dick as he approached. he? "Some one has been here since we left last night." Up on the rocks the snow was piled the same as "You don't uiean it !" ever, but they could soe nothing of the Unknown, "you bet I do." look where they would. "Done any damage?" "Hello, there! Hello!" shouted Dick. "Where "Well, they've taken all the tools, that's all, are you, anyhow? Show yourself up there, old man." cleaned us out completely." upm in the mysterious hut!" answered the voice. "The deuce That's bad Is everything gone?" "Can't you see me?" "There isn't a thing left, Ned," called Edith from "No!" No. 2 where she was working over her fire which had "Move a little to the left." been smoldering in the hole all night. Dick did so. This proved to be true enough, and only served to "I can't see you any more than I could before !"he add to the mystery which hung over Mastodon Creek. call'ed out. Picks, shovels, spades, crowbars, everything had I "Move a little more to the left. Keep moving inch been taken, but the midnight visitors had left no trail by inch!" behind them. There was now a hard crust on the Dick did so and all at once exclaimed that he could s,now and one could walk about without leaving a see the hut and that the Unknown was standing at tnark. the door. "Look here," said Ned, "this is a bad job, but we must remember one thing." "What's that?" asked Dick, looking at the shaft with a despondent a .ir, for be had calculated upon do ing good work that morning, and now time would "Hooray !"cried Ned. "The mystery is explained at 19'st; but where is your hut, Dick. I can't see it at all." "Look where my finger points." "Nothing but snow there."


) I:J YOUNG KL }iA::; L'(>DON . -'Exactly; n stand right bebmd me, look dark, while the boys were picking and shoveling awa) over my shoulder.h 1 in No. 1, Dick struck into a small nest of nuggets. "Great Scott I enough 10w Hold the lantern-quick, Ned !" he exc1aimed. "Hooray!" shouted the Unl'Niown's Yoteei ,"Come "I've got gold here, sure-!" t l've up here, boys More mystery, c,,u. -"Ound the This was welcome news surely, for in spite of the hut all right." faithfulness with which tlw boys had worked th-eh One mystscy was explained at all events. luck had been decidedlJ. When Neel looked over Dick's shoulder he could see "It's gold!" said Youiii,(Klondike, kneeling down the hut, with the detective sta.ncling in the doorway and peering into the sand. whole lot of tiny nugwaving his plug hat. gets! Let down the buck;et, Edith We must look If he moved an inch to the right or the left he could into this!" not see this for the reason that the hut stood Down rattled the bucket aiid N e d shoveled it full of back in a narrow rift on the rock, into which th-esnow the stuff, as Dick loosened it with the pick . had so drifted that the wonder was one could see the 1 "Hoist away, Edith A strike at last!" he cried. hut at all. ,. "Hooray It's enough to up the old mastodon On that first night when the door of the hut stood 'l'o think that we should have hit .it all this toil. I th b ht fi bl 'd t -[Three cheers for the Mastodon mme I open wit l e rig re ms1 e, i was an easy . matter for anyone to see the hut from the gorge, but f But Young as "'.'ell have moderated in daylight one might pass the place a dozen times lus Joy, for the strike proved to be a ancl not catch sight of it, as Dick very truly re' very sma size one. . 1 d The next stroke of Dick's pick took them into grave1, mar rn d 1 h h N d d l an at oug e rubbe it 111 n8 hands and peered A moment later the Unknown came out of the rift as closely as the la11tern light would permit, he could with a big fish horn in his hand which he blew for all not discover the first trace of gold. , he was worth. "It's just a pocket/' Dick. '"\V'ell, at all "Come up here, boys and girls! Come up here!" events it shows what may be expected.' below." he sho'.lted. "I want to sbow you my fincl !" "That's right! Still we may miss it altogether. "We spare the time. We'\'e got e've soyn .those pockets before, you T do," ca1lNed. VAll the tools at then kwe don't always ome to au,vthiug." -been stolen nd we've l:ul e back rpr {JUI uwn !" 'l'his eoough. lnlleed e reverse "Hello I ello! Mischief!" c11ed is the case and when a mine shows these lit.tle pock That settle t We've g..ot other enemies besides ets it ma/ be ooked upon with suspicion. the Indians us here,'" ,,. I Young Klondike knew this perfect} wcll. He was Of course this agreed with Ned s theory. exactly. trying to encourage himself, that was all. He called to the Unknown for further details about It was now about half past four o'clock, and as the hut. dark as the darkest night. "Well, there's nobody up here," answered the de Early in the afternoon the sky had clouded over, tective, "but there is every evidence that some one and there was every evidence that another suowhas recently been here. The hut is occupied; has storm was clese at hand. been right along, but isn't just, now." I "I guess we may as well get back to the 11.ut,'' "Better give it up and come to the Mastodon mine Ned. Strange the U nknow11 basn 't shown up. bewith us," said Ned. "We've got to work, that's all fore this-He knows very well that I don t w ant him there's about it. I'm going back there with the to go off on one of his periodical absences tools." now." "I'll be with you SOOI}.,,, called the aetective. "I've "But that is just what he has done," replied Dick. got a little more exploring to do here yet. By-by, "No matter; we know where to look for him. We' ll boys! Remember I'm in the mysterious hut, and if have to make a trip to the mysterious hut if be is not you want to join me all you've got to do is to climb around when we get home." over the drifts." They now put the dirt containing the nuggets in a Thus saying, the Unknown turned and was gone basket and started back, Edith going ahead with the in an instant. lantern. The boys tried to so place themselves that they j When they reached the hut they were surprise d to could get a sight of the hut again, but they had not find the door standing wide open, which was strange, been careful to accurately note their former positio11, for they had taken particular pains to shut it, a s they and it took fully five minutes to find it, and wh e n always did, and the Unknown never fail e d to do the they did get sight of the hut, the Unknown w a s no s ame. longer to be seen, nor did he answer them when they Yet when they entered they found the Unknown called. asleep in his bunk and snoring loudly. "Oh,lethimgo!"saidNed. "We'llgetbackwith "Tired out tramping through the snow," said the tools." Dick. "Let him lie there. He'll wake up by supper They did a fair day's work after all, and just after I time, you bet !"


{ 19 F But he did not, and they had supper without him: I M;y, man talked a few moments more in the same YOt'NG KLONDIKfrs MA,STODON MINE. The evening wore on, and still the Unknown slept. !I began' --,__ _up a, Several times Ned went. to his side and examined There lllltlenly bi, -..,11ow that th .. : him attentively, wonderiug if there could be any / plowed his way through these drifts. 11is clatter? reason for this strange sleep. 1 did he get to the mysterious hut? -aJJd But the detective seemed to be resting so quietly"I think I'd better get back at once," thought he was not even snoring no-w-that he could not bear "Ned. "I don't like this at all. I'd no business to go Lo wake him, and at last Dick turned into his bunk, otf the watch and leave them all asleep there. Yes, and Edith went up to her loft and shut down he trapI I'll go right back." rloor. He lost no time in retracing bis footsteps .. It wa.s Ned's first watch-since their arrival they When he got down into the gorge where he could had never passed a night without some one on gua.rd see his breath was suddenly taken away by -and he sattled himself down to play a game of soli-seeing the door open. taire and take it quietly until one o'clock, when Dick A flood of light from the blazing fire flashed 'out was to be called to take his turn. upon the gorge, and in that light Ned saw something He had just finished his sixth game when a curious which almost made his heart stand still. noise outside the hut attracted his attention. Ned laid down his cards, seized the lantern, and fiung open the door. It was snowing hard, and there in the freshly fallen snow were bear tracks distinctly to be seen. "Hello! Hm:e's something for breakfast," thought Young Klondike. He seized his rifie and went out, carefully closing the door behind him. It was not Ned's style to let such a chance as this slip him-he was bound to shoot the bear. l--OH!APTER VI. HOW THREE BEARS CAME INTO THE HUT AND HOW THEY WENT OUT AGAIN AND WHAT THEY LEFT BE HIND. NED went away down as far as the hole, but he did not see the bear. It was snowing hard, but there was no great wind, Three huge bears came tumbling outof the hut, and trotted off down the gorge through the snow. Quick as a wink Ned fired. But the snow blinded him, and it was evident that the shot went for nothing. The bears only trotted on the and in a mo ment passed around the bend of th. e gorge just below the hut, and were Jost to view. The way Ned ran then was a caution. His one thought was the safety of his friend. Of <(Ourse Edit)l w,,, up in the loft, b11t there \vas Diak and/ oug .own. "..---N ed boued intj1tm mI!I rushed pasru.i QH The Unknown w OM aa.IJo:f a1ru'b !l'.!l'!ll Dick, but the latLcr WJ)_u-u l}fstily-somcthing he never did. Ned shook him and shook him, but Dick continued to snore and would not wake up. Something was wrong. Ned realized that instanti_y. Dick was a light sleeper and there was never ii:ny trouble about waking him, but try as he would Ned could not wake him now. What could it mean? so Young Klondike thought little of the storm. . The bear tracks led him to the water hole and then I Ned puzzled his head over it for a mmute, and then crossed the gorge and went up over the rocks toward ran down the gorge to have :mother try at the three J ;he shelf where the Unknown had discovered the bears. mysterious hut. He did not think at the time that anything very Ned followed the trail until he came to those big serious was the matter with Dick, puzzling as this snow }rifts which had blocked his when he first strange sleep which had come upon both his companvisited the place. ions certainly was; what struck him strangest of all Here it suddenly ended and very much to his surwas that three bears should have been seen in comprise. pany. "What in thunder does this mean?" he thought. Bears seldom or never go together like this, and "Where can the bear have taken itself to if it did not Young Klondike knew it perfectly well. go through the drift?" He saw nothing of the bears, and the mystery deep-It was a question not easily answered, and what ened before he had gone a great way. made it all the more puzzling was the fact that there Coming to a point where the gorge widened, he was a double track all the way. found the tracks going around in a circle, and thus Not only had the bear come that way, but he had they ended. back by the road, and yet there was the Beyond the circle the snow lay unbroken, and this question, how did he get through the drift? only served to confirm Ned's suspicions about the Ned looked around a bit and then had to give it up, I bears. for .the rocks rose on one side of him and there was I "This is a trick!" he exclaimed. "Thos the precipice on the other. i bears. There's trouble ahead. If thosrurther up


K.E'8 MASTODON MINE. coffee and nothing but more cotfee could possibly sav f d him from falling into a deep sleep .ill less afte "ie t again Springing up-for he had unconsciously droppe ened the door; when he tried once into a chair, Ned made a rush for the doot and cm o arouse Dick he found it just impossible, and tied the coffee pot out on the snow. It was the same with the detective. iii He staggered like a drunken man as he turned The slumber of the famous "Seven Sleepers" con\

YOUNG KLONDIK ) MASTODON MINE. Getting sleepily out of the bunk, Young Klondike l The man talked a few moments took his rifle and laid it alongside of him. strain. Then he closed his eyes and was asleep before he Then Doc suddenly broke off, saying : knew it, but it was not to be for long this time. "What's the use in bothering with all this clatter? All at once he was awakened by a step on the floor First thing you know one of them will wake up, and close beside him. then there will be trouble. What we want is poor Fortunately for Ned he only opened his eyes dream-.Barnsley's nugget and the other gold." ily, and did not start up in the bunk as he might well Ned's ears were wide open when this was said, even have done. if his eyes were closed. To his horror he saw that the door was open. The other gold What gold did they mean? Three men with bearskins drawn around them, the Young Klondike knew of no gold but the nugget in heads above their head and the paws hanging down, the hut. were moving about the room. Then it seemed to him that he really knew very Ned had sense enough to close his eyes and pretend little of the Mastodon claim, anyhow. As yet he to be asleep. had not even seen the shaft where Mr. McCullagh did But he kept one corner open and lay there quietly, his work. taking in all that was going on. This was supposed to be up in the mountain. The men were all strangers to him and they looked The way to it lay through a narrow cut further more like ordinary miners than the toughs. Their down the creek, and as this had been half blockaded faces were not bad ones by any means. In fact, one with snow when Young Klondike's party came into of them looked like a decidedly intelligent man. the gorge he had maae no attempt to explore it. He was peering into the coffee pot which Ned had I Whether the Unknown had done so or not he did not placed on the hearth, just where be found it. I know. "Say, boys, some of this coffee is gone," he said. Ned now began to think that his mistake had "I fancy Young Klondike must have taken his I been m not thoroughly exploring the region at the dose." start. He lay there listening to .. t})e talk, which "That's what's the matter, Doc," replied another, was highly since Joe To -.. r persisted in a large man with a heavy black beard. "Saved us that there ought to be gEforal mas-the trouble of dosin9 him, eh?" sacr I "Exactly," replied Doc, "I'm so ry to hav to dose At the firnt sign of Doc ) e would have any of them, but the fact is, boys, they must be been ready to use his rifl e; but i id not come to driven away from the creek before they make a strike that. at the place where poor Barnsley found the nugget up Doc won the argument and Joe still 'ly gave up. there by the mastodon. Once they hit it YoungKlon"Very well; you'll regret it-you'll see," he dedike will flood the gorge with his meu, and you know clared. as well as I can tell you what that is going to mean "Drop it," replied Doc. "Let's begin our search for us." for the gold." , "Don't talk. It will ruin us. I'd blame soon put "You won't find it, you know how many times we a stop to their operations if I had my way." have searched before," was the reply. "Yes, but you are not going to have your way, Joe "l'm going to act on my last idea. These floor Tower. There's nothing the matter with Young boards are coming up." Klondike. He's allright; I'm not going to have him "You'll have the girl down then, and some of the killed." others awake." "It won't be all right for us ifhe lives, Doc. We've "No, I won't. I've bolted the trap on the under got a good thing, and if we can only hold on to it side and she can't budge it ; as for these fellows they until spring it will make us all rich men." are too far gone in the morphine sleep to make us any "We will, Joe; we will. Don't you fret. I'm trouble now." isfied that this experience will drive them off. That Doc then produced a long, cold-chisel and a hammer blasted little detective is the worst. If I was inclined from some mysterious pocket in his bearskin coat, t o do anything I'd take him first." and moving the table and chairs over into one corner "Oh, we could do it so nice and easy as they lie deliberately began to pry up the floor boards of the there now, Doc; as for the girl we'd let her live and hut. take care of her until some opportunity offered of "They'll get the nuggets now, and I don't see how sending her away, but of course she would have to I'm going to stop them," thought Ned. '"l'hree think her friends had deserted her. It would never against one! It won't do! For the sake of Dick a.nd do to let her know what had happened to them, don't the Unknown I shall have to let the gold go:" you see." Just then a shrill blast whistled down the gorge. Ned's hand was on his rifle. He was almost inThe wind was evidently rising; the storm w clined to use it, but as he was anxious to know just increase. who and what these men were he fore bore, and lay as Doc noticed this; and called to Joe still as death, taking in everything. and see what it meant.


YOUNG ltLONf>IKE'S MASTODON MINE. "lt's snowing ten times harder than ever," was J Joe's report, when he came back into the hut wher I Doc and the third man were still at work on the boards. "Going to be a blizzard, I ireckon," replied Doc. "Well, boys, we may have trouble getti11g back." "Which we don't want," growled Joe. "How much longer it going to take to get them boards up? Seems to me you are thundering slow." At all events they did not come back again. They had gone and left a golden treasuie behind. CHAPTER VII. THE BIG STRIKE UNDER THE MASTODON. "I'm getting all the na,ils out first so that when FOR Young KloncUke to pick himself up and collec they begin to come all will c0rnc togeth;r. Don't his wits did not take long, you may be very sure. want to make any more noise than n ece. ary and There was plenty to be done there among th that's the easiest way." ruins of the hut, if he hoped to save the life of hi Evidently I)oc was an expert at this sort of busifriends. ness for in a moment he began to take the boards up In the first place the coals from the hearth wer one by one exposing the spaces between the timber:. setting the boards on fire; in the next Edith was call beneath. ing loudly for help while Dick was half buried unde "That settles the nugget," thought Ned. He saw his bunk, and the Unknown was lying face downwar that Doc had his hand on the biggest pieces and the upon the floor as still and silent as if he had be01 -0thers followed it out of the hole. dead. Yes, quick action was needed then, and Ne "There you are!" exclaimed Doc. "There's poor was equal to the emergency. Barnsley's nugget. I reckon we have more right to it His first care was to stamp out the burning coal than Young Klondike as far as that goes.,, and shout to Edith to keep up hor courage. "How i.n thunder ru;e we going to carry these, pieces Then he managed to crawl to the loft ladder anci with the rest of the gold?" growled Joe. fix it so that he could reach the trapdoor which nO\\ "At it again? Always raising pbjections. We'll opened sideways, for the upper part of the hut nae bury it in \the snow 1outside and come back to partly collapsed, and the loft was resting against th morrow. !leavens, how the wind hr.1, vl, f a rocks at an angle of fo.rty-five degrees. blizzard str1kes down t g-orge and hits this h1.1u ;at:r It required care and patience to get Edith out, bu she'll go over, e pop. ( Young' Klondik' did ifJ; l.JJ1 as fe\'r words as pos "SQ much more reason why we should hurry sible explained what bad occurred. up,,. Jo Meanwhile Dick had been rescued from his uncom "'; ... y gold! The gold!" fortable position and the Unknown turned -0ver on hi Doc ripped up two more boards. He was very back and some of the loose boards piled up agains the open door which could no longer be closed. close to Ned now. "Here it is !11 he cried, stooping down and run-Thus in a measure Edith and Ned were protecte from the fury of the storm, and thus they remained ning his hand in under the next board. When he drew it out he grasped a small bag crouching there in a most position heavy with gold dust. until almost morning when the Unknoo/Zsuddenly Another and another followed; six came out al together, and just as Doc took out the last the bliz zard struck the gorge. Phew what a roar and clatter there was! awoke. The little detective was immensely chagrined at what had occurred. If we were to detail all he said it would take up many pages and to no plll'pose. How shall we describe it? All the Unknown could offer in explanation of the If anyone had asked Young Klondike to do so five condition in which Ned had discovered him was that minutes later, he would have found it a very difficult when he came back into the hut late in the afternoon matter. he found a pot of coffee simmering on the hearth and All that Ned knew was that when that awful roar drank freely of it, supposing that Edith had left it came the whole hut seemed to tremble, and then fol-there. lowed a thunderous crash. I When Dick woke up it was almost daylight. For the hut turned over on its side and Ned went Things were in better shape then, for Ned and tumbling out of the bunk, the rifle still grasped in his Edith had been hard at work, and as soon as the hands. Unknown was able he lent a hand. The last he saw of the "three bears" they were Of course, they could not get the hut back into scrambling out from under the ruins on all foure. \ position, but they had fixed up the door so that it Ned pulled himself up, and crouching under the 1 could be shut, and rigged up the stovepipe which "rnbers of the loft, fired a few shots right out served as a chimney, so that it went out tlrrough a. ""m. I hole in the siding, which Ned cut for the purpose and s served the purpose of sending the would draw. ter. The big stone which had served as the hearth w3:s


YOUNG MASTODON MINK 19 J edged in under it, and Ned nailed up a piece of "First of all we must see that but up there," de ect iron to protect the boiuding, and started a fire clared Ned. "I won't do another stroke on the mine oing. till I know all about it." In these uncomfortable quarters they sat down to -what are we going to do about a house to live reakfast, a .nd to compare notes on the strange events in?" asked Dick. "Of course we can't stay here." f the night. "We might fix this place up for the dogs and live "As for me," remarked Dick;" I've got nothing to in the shed," suggested the detective. y, for I don't know anything. I just went to sleep "Notm all," said Edith. "Let's take our tents nd I woke up again-that is all." right up to and bank them in with snow "Didn't you feel anything of the shock when the and hemlock boughs. It would take just about a day t went over?" asked Edith. "It woke me up in-to fix ourselves up, but after that we would be com-antly. I was almost frightened to death." fortable enough." No, Dick had felt nothin s ge as it may "I suppose the hut up on the rocks is not to be em. thought of," said Ned. "lwonderwhereMcCullagh's The only xplanatio seemed to be that he man men lived?" oc must have forced a morphine powder down his They had often thought of this before, but had been roat while Ned was o after the supposed bear. too busy to do any exploring. It did seem possible that c?uld have been Now the Unknown laughed, and said: ade to drmk the coffee m his sleep. I ''Well, I meant to keep that as a surprise for you, Now the conversation took another turn. b Th h lf d ;..,.., u th th v oys. ere are a a oz= iu""'p ere on e as the gold to be looked _at and discussed, and the rocks, and McCullagh's mine is there, too. No won-ventures of the Unknown to be talked about. d h d'd t t t 1 t th t It" 1 er e i no wan o wor { l in e '''lll er. s o-There was a good deal of the gold, as much as fifty cated in a most awf.i;h!J' inconvenient place." ousand do1lars, Ned estimated. Of course tfiis announcement made them -11 the How it came to be ll,1:. the hut w s something of a i< ystcry; but Ned felt SUl"e that the man spoken of o go on the exploring trip. 'Ii "osed ears. '. McOullagh and his men nev&ir have known it?" estioned Edith. "That is the point I don't under--when they came to the g drift thy'lJnkp.own nd." brushed away the loose snow, and runr)iilg N 11 1 th Id 1 into the drift, pulled out a great mass of snow frozen o one cou ( exp am; ey cou on y guess. l'd 1 f Th U k th tl t th h d b as s9 i a$ a ca rn o ice. e n nown s eory was 1a er_e a een lf An i oor !" he exclaimed. "'this is the work me of Mr. McCullagh's men who remamed behind l f th' H d o o ere s roa to the hut, Young er the others left. Kl ndik ok out now that we don't have a "And they stayed behind because they had robbed I fl n he added. "They were probably working some g . ret lead all along and are working it still, anP-it Behmd the ice oor a tunnel through the drift had a,11 be my work to find out the truth about all ta>.s been{l-ug. stery4 Meanwhile I regard this goln as' as about feet in length, and with the UnCullagh' prop rty, and I say we ought to known in the lead they passed cautiously through it, e of it and report the case to hitn." coming in 11. moment to the mouth of the rift between 'We'll hide it," replied Ned. ''.Those fellow'!;'i the ocks. n't get it again, anyhow; but how about the mysTiiis led them into a deep glen with rocks rising on ious hut?" a ..Here stood the hut, and there were several ell, I found it," replied the de tee ti ve, and I otbeis scattered about ; also a shaft hoU1 e and a dump nd two ways of getting there. I did a lot of ex-and 'evtlrything belonging to a mine. ring around among the rocks, too, but that Mr.).\.fcCullagh's mine now lay exposed to full view, ounted to nothing. Th t's about all I have to and they proceeded to make a close examination of it, I." for there was nobody there to hinder them. ut it was not all he had to say by any means, for The place seemed entirely deserted. There were no Unknown went into the most minute details footprints in the freshly fallen snow. ut his adventures, and while he was still talking This ended the explorations of the day, and three sun came up, and witn its rising the storm passed passed without further trouble. ay. tfit hafl trot been for the ruined hut, Ned might al t been mostly wind, veq littl-0 snow fall-most ha\s grow"ng further up


YOUNG KLONDIKES MASTODON :MINE. the gorge, and great of boughs were cut I of this business. -Fact is, we ought not to have co1 and dragged down to the new camp. up here without men enough to do the rough wor1 Then two tents were rigged up under the shelter of "Pshaw!" cried Dick; "we used to be equal some overhanging ledges, and the snow was banked any amount of work. I should hate to think that up around them and the boughs piled about on all wasn't so now." sides to shelter them the wind. "What's that-what's that?" called Edith, w The next move was to build a shelter for the dogs was working the bucket. "Why don't you fello out of the hemlock boughs alone. In th-is Young go to work down there instead of standing aro Klondike was a perfect expert, and before night they talking?" had all snug and comfortable; in fact, the shelter "Ned wants to give up," said Dick. was quite as warm as the shed. "No, I don't! I was only saying that I had age Dusk was upon them by the time they had finmind to," replied Ned, rather ashamed. ished, but they were still able to brmg up an old "Nonsense!" cried Edith. "Look at the gold stove out of the shed at the ruined hut. have actually got in our possession, which we as gc This was set in place in Edith's tent., and as for as know all came off the land around thi!> creek. D the boys ;:i,nd the Unknown they were perfectly con-that look as though we were going to have our lal tent to wrap themselves up in their blankets and for our pains?" sleep in the cold. "But we can only be sure about the nugget," But there was no sleep for the Unknown that night. Ned. "As for thti gold in the bags, we don't ki The little detective insisted upon doing guard duty where that came from, and the fact remarns that till morning, but as it turned out he might just as McCullagh could not make these mines pay." well have gone to bed. "Go to work, boys," said Edith, in her emp1 way. "Keep it up until dark anyhow, and then w There was no alarm. Noth:qg occurred. When the Unknown comes in we will hold a council of \ Ned awoke the Unknown was up and down and decide .what is to be done." like a sentinel. "All right," said Ned, cheerfully. "I'm sur "I reckon they have made up to don't want to do any loafing. We can only take us alone," he; "by the Julllping other hack at it antl see bpw we come out." just they badft' me I owe that fel l>\Y Doc one Now, this conversation is only given to show for to poiSon e." ..--1-.-uncertaintfos of and how unsafe it is to Now tl was all .ry well for the Unknown to diet what will ha.flpen in working a prospect hole, s, Yo 1g had no sue? wish. he this was nothing more. wanted -,yas to be allowed to work qmetly on hIB own "Look here," exclaimed Ned, suddenly, afte land, and he 11ad already determined to go about his had taken out a few shovelsful of dirt. "I've go business just as though nothing had occurred. I idea." But of course it was necessary to keep a strict "Out with it !" said Dick. "Anything for a cha watch, so work on No. 2 was abandoned, and the Un-and to make you more comfortable. What is known was detailed to do guard duty, while Ned, Dick idea?" and Edith concentrated all their efforts on No. 1. "Well, I reason this way : according to our ex That day's work brought no result. From the ence in mining we have passed below the level w gravel that was hoisted out of the shaft a little gold we ought reasonably to expect to find gold in Was Washed after dark, snow water melted over the shaft." stove being used for the purpose, but it did not "Exactly." amount to anything worth talking about, and things "We have found some which shows that the began to look pretty blue. gold around, and that all things being equal, Next day it started in just the same; the only dif-ought to find more." ference was they had now gone below the frost line, "That's right, too, but you claim that our fi and the ground was more easily worked. only a little pocket." Toward noon Ned began to despair of ever finding "I know; we'll admit that I was mistaken and anything of value, and he leaned upon his spade, say-instead of being a pocket that find was an offsho ing: a bigger deposit. Where did we strike our pock Well, I declare, Dick, I've a good mind to give I I "In the black sand, as we always do, of course this fight up." "Exactly, and we have gone down a good five "Don't say that," replied Dick. "It isn't a bit below the place and don't find any more; now I like you. The fact that the big nugget was found in let us drift on the line of the strike." this hole shows that there ought to be more." This perhaps needs a word of explanation. "I wonder if it does. Do you know I am almost I Young Klondike's idea being that instead of w getting around to the belief that it don't show any-ing down toward a rich deposit of gold they \: thing of the sort." l actually working alongside of it, he now propos "Sicker horses than this have got well, Ned." go back to_the place whe:e the find been "I know, but all the same I'm getting awful tired : and work sideways, or iir1ft, on the hne of the


YOUNG KLONDIKE'S MASTODON MINE. 19 t================================================================ ady discovered, in the hope that it would lead m to the main deposit of which the one already ck was only a spur. his plan has been often followed out by miners with good succes s for which reason Ned was fully tified in proposing it now. 'Good enough!" cried Dick. "I'm sure I'm agreee; but we'll have to rig up some kind of scaffold-to stand on ; we are too low down to work on that ce now." 'That's easy done," said Ned. "We'll take one of provision boxes. I can stand on that." hey then started to carry the plan out. ed went up to the ground level, and emptying the box lowered it into the hole. o his great satisfaction it brought him up almost a level with the strike line, so that he could easily rk his drift. 'It's going to take us in under the mastodon," said k, who remained in the bottom of the shaft to vel up the dirt which Ned threw down. That's for luck," laughed Young Klondike. "If 1na .ke a strike it shall be called the Mastodon e." What does McCullagh call his?" The Crescent, I think. He has one of that name, I'm not dead sure that it is the one up here on stodon creek." 'That don't make any difference. Ours shall be Mastodon, anyway, and if he has already approted the name then ours is Mastodon No. 2." Look out Here comes a lot of stuff !" called And Ned did give it up, but not in the way his words implied. Driving the bar in as far as he could possibly force it, he t.ugged and tugged until he could feel the earth begin to move. "Look out, Dick Something is coming!" he cried. And so there was. The frozen earth gave way the next instant. So did the box. Down came Ned, with the bar anda biglotof earth following him. He struck Dick and tumbled him over, and it was a wonder that one of them was not seriously hurt. Edith called down in great alarm to know how the case. stood. Oh, we are all right,'' laughed Ned. "I pulled a bit too hard on the bar, and the box tipped over ttiat's all. Nothing to worry a .bout. Worst of it is Dick might have had his brains knocked out, andwhy, look here Gold Gold !" And gold it was sure enough The lumps of earth brought out with the bar fairly bristled with tiny nuggets. "We've struck it! We've struck it!" shouted Dick. "Gold under the mastodon I Hooray!" CHAPTER VIII. THE MIDNIGHT CAPTURE. WHEN the Unknown came into camp just at night' who had driven the bar into the half frozen soil. own fell the clods of earth and Dick examined fall, Young Klondike and his friends had great news to tell. m carefully, declaring that he could not see a e of gold. Never mind," said Ned. Here goes for another. ee_ feet will bring us right under the mastodon's and it won't take long to get at a sample of the in there. We can straighten up the drift later Is it very much frozen ?" asked Dick. Pretty well. Not as hard as I thought it was g to be, though. I think the mastodon must e protected it somewhat." ed continued to work away, Edith watching his rations eagerly from the ground above. e had nothing else to do now, for Ned decided to o more hoisting until they had ascertained the lt of his experiment. gold should be struck in the drift, it would be ssary to shovel back the dirt already taken out, s to bring the hole up to a level with the top of box. t last Ned announced that he was in two feet and lf on the drift. Now, we will decide if there is anything in this of mine or not," he declared. "The next scoop bring me under the mastodon, Dick. If we don't anything then, I stand ready to give it up." "It's my opinion we are going to make the biggest strike on record," declared Ned. "I never saw the nuggets so nested together as they lie there in that drift." The Unknown went down into the shaft and had his look. It was precisely as Ned had stated. The nuggets were embedded in the earth in one solid mass; one could scarcely put a point between them. There were no very large ones and this is not desir able, for the small nuggets pay the best every time, being invariably found in greater quantity. These ran from the size of a pea to about the size of a hickory nut. Of course the only question now remaining to be solved was the extent of the deposit. If it ran well down, as from indications there was every reason to believe, the success of the Mastodon mine was assured. But good hard work was necessary in order to demonstrate this. To work in the drift as they had begun would be too clumsy a method to be entertained for a moment. A new shaft would have w be sunk under the mas todon, and this, of course, would take time. That night the proposed council of war was hel "" /


:lu YOUNG S MASTODON .MINE. and it was most emphatically decided to keep on with I It was an easy matter to get down into this s the work. I for although it was down forty feet with two d Now this decision only goes to show how hardened there was a regular hoisting arrangement in pla our Klondikers had become to danger. I Ned went down in the big tub, and reported a The thought that they were working there in that showing at the bottom of the shaft. lonely gorge with dangerous enemies all around He did not go into the drifts, which seemed them did not influence their decision one bit. extensive and appeared to be rather choked up They had come out after gold, and they had found rubbish. it. No matter what the danger might be, they pro"I wouldn't waste any more time working posed to carry out their plan to the end. mine if I owned it," he declared. "It's too big Provisions were still plentiful. and ttey were really on the ledges to ever yield a great amount of g very comfortable in their new quarters-far more so "Does it seem to be in gravel still?" asked Di than we tenderfeet in warmer climates can imagine, "Yes; there is no sign of rock. I can easily un for, with their thick, warm clothing and heavy stand why McCullagh started it. The idea is blankets to roll themselves up in at night, the.,r did I there has been an immense washing down of gr not suffer in tho least from the cold, although some of which has almost filled up this glen, reckoning the days which followed were pretty severe. I the line of Mastodon creek, of course, and th Next morning, after a brief examination of the drift that deposit lots of gold ought to be found." they went right at work on the new shaft. "A good deal has been found,'' said Dick. The ground was cleared under the mastodon, and Cullagh told mo that he had taken as much as a a big frost fire built which made those old bones dred thousand dollars out of this sh aft." crackle. "Yes, but oh, so finely distributed? And The worst was the streams of water which came much has it cost him? I doubt if it has much down from the melting ice. It took constant care to than paid, for I never knew of his doing any keep the fire going, but they persevered, and by the himself." end of the week had worked this new hole down alNow that is one trouble with mining of all l most to the level of tho drift. which most people scarcely ever stop to think a To-morrow being Sunday, we will A mine may be struck which on the face sho work," said Ne(!. -"I don't believe in good deposit of gold, butimmediatelycomesthe Sunda.y, if we can help it. Besides, we need the rest, J tion of expense. and I want to go up there to McCullagh's old diggings There are hundreds of abandoned mines in on the rocks again." rado, Arizona and other places, including Califo This plan was carried out. which in time may _pay to work if railroads are As soon as it was daylight, all ha.nds set out for the near them, or towns spring up in the region red mysterious hut. the cost of labor. They had no difficulty in reaching it, but no sooner The expense of working a deep mine is always g had they entered the glen than they saw traces of the and Young Klondike felt that there was little enemy. I chance of ever making this shaft pay, which certa Footprints were all over the snow here, running in did not encourage him about bis own big strike d among the huts and part.icularly about the shaft. there between the mastodon's legs. I They were not surprised at this, however, for the But the results of the next few days only g1 Unknown had been there many times and had warned show how foolish it is to be discouraged in mining I them how it would be. ters. The only way is to weigh facts for what 1 "The strangest part of it is, Young Klondike," he are worth and act accordingly. Discouragell now remarked, "that they seem to begin and end never pays. over there against those rocks at the back of the The result of Monday's work under the mast< glen. Why they should all run up to that particular was most satisfactory. point I can't imagine, but they do." During the first hour they penetrated to the No wa y up on the rocks there ?" asked Ned. deposit. "None that I can find." It was just the same as they had found it i "What lies beyond?" drift, one mass of nuggets closely bedded togeth "That is more than I can tell you. I've tried All that day they continued to work through t several times to climb up on the rocks, but I've al-and there was no sign of giving out. ways failed." Roughly estimated the result of that one d "Let it remain a mystery then. What I want to work was fully ten thousand dollars. find out now is what sort of pay dirt McCullagh was This was enormous. It aroused the wildest en working in at the bottom of that shaft, when he shut iasm with Young Klondike's party. the mine down." "We must go into business here at once,'' decl "That's easily ascertained." Ned that night. "I'd like to put a hundred m "Yes. I propose to go down into the shaft and I work on this shaft within twenty-four hours; 'look." then, Dick, how near to it can we come?"


YOUN G K LOND IKE'S MAS T ODON MINE. I should say that fifteen would be the most we all likely that the deposit would prove exhausted I d spare from the Death Creek diggings without then. rfering with the work down there." I In short, Young Klondike's Mastodon mine had T hen we must have those fifteen up here at once. proved itself to be of immense value, and would fully o 'll take one of the dog teams and go down after justify him in going to any expense. m ?" For several days following little or no work was Of course that means me,'' said the Unknown. done on the mine. ell, 1'!11 ready start right _to-night-:: Young Klondike felt that the best thing to do was It don t mean you, rephed Ned. I 11 to get the houses up and make every body comfor if you say so. table and it was well that he did so for the mild No; I had better go; 1'1? a in the beespell 1passcd away in a big snowstorm 1by the end of e, I don t mmd domg_ my of the week, and after it ceased there was a drop to k-1t isn t that, but by the Jumpmg Jereimah, fort.y below zero. ry time I undertake to do it I'll be hanged if some. . d 't occ t 1 k t ,, This would have made thmgs demdedly unpleasant g on ur o rnoc me ou . . l f t th U k 1 d t m the tents, but m the httle houses all hands were as 10 ac was, e n nown was a ways rea y o nocl{ed Out Ile llard k t b t snug as could be, anu by the followmg Monday were w n wor was m ques 10n, u d t t k was ready enough to drive the dogs to Death rea Y 0 go 0 wor agam. ek, and they sta.rted him off within an hour's That Monday's work gave one of t.he greatest yields Young Klondike bad ever had in twentyfour nder favorable circumstances he might be ex ed back on the morning of the third day. "eumstances were favorable, and back promptly ime the Unknown came, bringing the men with and a lot of other things besides. took three dog teams to draw the load. 10re were two portable houses which Young 1 dike bad ordered in Dawson City some weeks be and which by good fortune reached Death Creek ahead of the Unknown. 1en there were boxes and boxes of canned goods, of bacon, hams and potatoes and all sorts of bles, besides many other things necessary to the ort of so many men. course the Unknown's first question was con ing the success of the mine, and in answering Ned had great news to report. t's the biggest strike of all!" he declared. "Do now how much Dick and I have taken out with wn hands since you have been gone?" o, I'm sure I don't,'' replied the detective. uess." hours. Thirteen thousand six hundred dollars he figured up. Six men were put at the shaft under the mastodon, and six in the old shaft to run drifts, so as to tap the big deposit at a lower level. Th r emaining three, under Ned's direction, started to f.. 11 the ground for a new shaft beyond the masthe deposit could reaso nably be expected to be struck in a new place. All this time nothing had been seen of the enemy, and as for the Indians they had been forgotten. Young Klondike had long ago come to the conclu sion that the latter were nothing more than a wan dering band, who had passed down the gorge by ac cident, going on about their business, and this was, indeed, the case. As for Doc's gang, it looked very much as if they had given up the fight, but where they were hidi11g was the mystery still. Edith was sure that they had left the region alto gether, but this Ned could scarcely believe. million?" "I 'va11t to k11ow about it, though," he declared, ome, tl1at's nonsense. If we bad worked in solid "and I think we ought to take steps to find out. It ets there would scarcely have been time for is anything but comfortable to feel that a ga11g of men may come pounci11g down upon you at a11y time. en thousand more ?" Of course we are too stro11g for them to attack nowifty thousand, roughly estimated, and I want I admit that-but they arc liable to try for their re o come down and have a look at the shaft." venge some other way, which may prove very un-en tho Unknown saw the appearance of things pleasant if not fatal to some of us. The long and e shaft, he could not refrain from an exclamation short of it is something ought to be done rprise and delight. "There's just one thing to do if you want to draw all sid e s there was the same display of nuggets them out of their hole," said the detective. y packed in between the sand and gravel. "What's that?" deposit seemed scarcely to have been dis "For some of us to sleep in the hut up at the Me d. Cullagh mine." t had already yielf ed sixty thousand dollars, "Do you think they would attack us?" seemed no good reason why it should not yield "I think they would be pretty apt to try. Y o u at deal more-ten times as much-from what take that fellow, Joe; he's not one of the kind to give lready in sight. up from the you describe him." this meant half a mill i on, and it was n o t at I "WeH, why hasn' he tried his hand before now?


22 YOUNG KLONDIKE'S MASTODON MINE. Why didn't he come down on us wbile you were There stood three dark figures about twenty f gone, and we three were alone?" away, looking toward the hut. "Ask me something easy ; I can't tell you ; but I Ned and Dick flung up their rifles. hold to my opinion all the same." "Surrender there We want you cried the "I'm willing to pass a night in the hut any time," known. said Dick. "I want to get square for that drugging Instead of answering the three figures-one seem business. I'll go with you any time you say the to be a boy-turned and ran for all they were wo word." toward the shaft house. "We'll do it to-night,'' said Ned, "but Edith I Ned and Dick fired, aiming high purposely. Th must remain behind." did not want to do any killing; what they hoped They were as good as their word, but Edith made was that the shots would bring the men to a halt. the most strenuous objections to remaining bell.ind. But it had no such effect. Still the boys would not hear to her going, and The fugitives ran into the shaft house and v in the end she had to yield. ished. At seven o'clock the boys, accompanied by the "They are going out the other door!" cried N Unknown, started for the hut in the glen. "They mean to put the shaft house between us Of course they were running a big risk. They them, so that we can't see which way they go." knew this, but they were not the kind to hold back "After them!" shouted the Unknown. "Qui on that account. Quick Run around the shaft house and head th All had their rifles, and Ned carried a lantern to off on the other side !" light them on their way up the rocks. Right here was where they made their mistake. The .idea was to make all the display of their When they got around the shaft house there movement possible, in the hope of drawing the enemy no one visible, but the creaking of the rope runn out. through the pulley block in the shaft house told th We state nothing but the simple truth, when we that some one was going down into the mine. say that they went into that hut without the least "They are inside!" exclaimed Ned. "They Ned's first care was to build a roaring :fire 0 the "By the Jumping Jeremiah, we'll soon find ou fear. going down into the mine-what can that mean ?' hearth; then he ;;,hut in the window!; and bo1te cried the Unknown, making a rush for the s door. house. After all was snug and comfortable, they sat down At the same instant a wild cry rang out upon to a social game of cards, for of course there was no night. thought of sleeping. It sounded almost ghostly there in the gloom, They played until midnight, and still nothing had it was a cry of agony and despair. occurred. Rushing mto the shaft house, with their rifles re When Ned looked at his watch and found that it for instant action, they could see nobody, but w was twelve o'clock, he threw down his cards, and tak-they listened at the mouth of the shaft they c ing up his rifle declared that he was going out to have distinctly hear groans below. a look around. "Hello !"shouted Ned. "Hello! Is anybody d "What's the use?" asked Dick. "You don't hear anything, do you?" "No; but I'm in the mind to do it. We may see something. Perhaps they are watching us to see when we turn in-who can tell?" "It seemed to me,'' said the Unknown, "that I heard a slight sound outside the door a few moments ago, but as I didn't hear it again I said nothing about it." Ned smiled a .nd put on his hat. "You heard it, too, you rascal You know you did!" cried the detective. "That's what's taking you out." "Well, I own I thought I heard something," replied Ned, "although like you, I couldn't be sure." "We'll all go out,'' said Dick. "We'll make a turn all around the glen. If there is anybody prowling about we'll be pretty sure to discover them." Ned threw open the door and they sallied forth. The instant the light of the shot out across the snow they saw that they had made no mistake. there?" "Yes," came the faint response. "I surrend you've captured me. Spare my life !" Here was a strange midnight capture I As yet it only added to the mystery which about the place. Who was it that lay groaning at the bottom o shaft? CHAPTER IX.. LITTLE DAN. "WHO are you?" Young Klondike, leaning over the edge of shaft as far as he dared, shouted the ques tio the top of his voice. "I'm nobody but little Dan," wa s the fain sponse. "I think my leg is broken. Don't kill gentlemen-don't, please!"


YOUNG KLONDIKE'S MASTODON MINE. 'We are not killing anyone," replied Ned. I senses. He'll be able to give an account of himselfin hat happened to you? Did you fall down?" a minute now." 'Yes, yes!" 1 The boy opened his eyes and stared around. 'Where are the others?" "What's the matter with me?" he gasped. 'Oh, they are gone, mister, they are gone I Get I "Where's Doc?" up out of here. I'm only a boy; I can't do you "Just what we'd like to know," replied the detectharm." ive. "We'll attend to your leg. We'll take good 'By the Jumping Jeremiah, this is strange!" care of you. Needn't be afraid of us." ed the Unknown, and so it was, for boys in the "Oh, I can't tell I groaned the boy, ondike country are scarce. who seemed to be suffermg terribly. 'I'll go down after him "said Ned. "Help me to "Can't? What's the reason you can't?" demand-the tub up." ed the Unknown. "By the Jumping Jeremiah, you 'B b h l ft t d must!" y the way, the tu was up w en we e I e-"D 't b h d th h. z d ,, d D. k "p U "y 'd b t 1 1 t f on e ar w1 lm, e sa1 ic oor red the nknown. ou e ter oo { ou or 11ttl h T H t .bl L.k t i e c ap e s m erri e pam. rself, Ned. This may be only a ruse. l e as no "S .11 b .f t f D b 11 t t h f o w1 we e I we ge one o oc s u e s m o two men are down at the bottom of the s at or h.d ,, ing in one of the drifts." I 1 e. t I'll h t k h th t ,, J You needn t be afraid. They won t touch you to-ave to a e my c ances on a . h ,, d th b "I th t h B t d 't t t ta.k h Hello, mg t, sa1 e oy. promise you a muc u we on wan you o e c ances. ,, th 1 H ll ,,, Perhaps they won t touch you at all. n ere e 0 Ned drew the Unknown aside, for he still persisted 'Hello!" came the faint response. in questioning the boy. 'Are you alone?" "Let up on it," he said. "Can't you see that this 'Yes, all alone." capture is likely to prove a big thing for us?" 'Where have those two men gone to?" "It will if we can only make the little snoozer tell I can't tell you. Oh, won't you help me? I'm what he knows." ering terrible pain." "We'll manage that later. Treat him well first Lower the lantern down and have a look," sughis confidence." ted Dick. you will have your way, Ned. Of course here were several coils of rope hanging up in the the leg has got to be looked after, and I suppose ft house, and it was an easy matter to tie the Ianwe may a-swell do it now." n to one of them and lower it down. "We'll take you to the hut, Dan," said Ned. hen it struck bottom they could distinctly see the "Nobody is going to do you the least harm-trust lying there, but there was certainly no one else me." he bottom of the shaft. ,, . But I can't walk," groaned the boy. "How am 'I'm declared Ned. "I m w1llmg to I going to get to the hut?" e the risk. J "Get on my back l'li carry you. It will be easier 'o they hoisted up the tub, and Ned getting into it than if two take Lift him up, Dick. He can clasp s lowered to the.bottom of the shaft. his arms about my neck and ride as easy as if he was he boy lay there still and silent; indeed, he had in a Pullman car." answered the last calls given by the They soon had little Dan inside the hut lying on a ed saw at a glance that he must have He mattress, from one of the bunks which was placed on s only a little fellow, not more than ten years old. the floor before the fire. ung Klondike raised him tenderly, and managed Then the Unknown stripped off his coat and went get him into the tub in a sitting position. to work to do the surgical act, at which he was really ne of his legs hung limp; it was evidently broken quite skillful. the knee. The boy's trousers were removed, and the broken ed then stood upon the rim of the bucket, and limb exposed. k and the Unknown hoisted them out of the hole. It was a simple fracture, just above the knee; and 'Ye gods and little fishes, you've got him!" the Unknown had no difficulty in setting the bone, d the detective. "What ails him, anyhow? Is after which he bound it up as well as he could, and the dead ?" brave little fellow who scarcely made a sound during 'No; l think he has only fainted." the painful operation was lifted on the mattress into 'His leg seems to be broken." the bunk. 'That's what's the matter." Not until he was made entirely comfortable would 'Probably it was the pain tha. t made him faint." Ned permit a single question to be put to him. 'More than likely. Here, help me lift him out. "Now, Dan," he said at last, "you must tell us 'd better carry him up to the hut." just what happened, and ho\v you came to fall." 'We'll find out who he is first," said the detective, "I slipped, and the tub turned over with me," re they lifted the boy out of the tub and laid him on 1 plied the boy. "That was the way, boss. Oh, I floor of the sha.ft house. "See, he's coming to his thought I was killed." ... '/



YOUNG KLONDIKE'S MASTODON MINE. 25 Ned lowered him down in the tub from which he could easily step off into the drift. "Better wait till I have a look here!" he called out; "no use in two of us coming down till we know what there is ahead." But Ned did not see it in that light at all. "You go right on down, Dick," he exclaimed. "I won't hear to letting Zed do that job alone." You go," said Dick. "Come, come, now! I won't have that! I can go down on the rope easily enough." So can I." "And while we are quarreling about it Zed is alone in the drift." "Hello, up there !" called the detective at that mo ment-" hello!" "Hello!" answered Ned, leaning over the mouth of the shaft. "There's nothing down here." vance without a light; we shall break we try it." "Let us go on a little way as still as we possibly can and listen. I want to locate those sounds." They stole forward through the drift, feeling their way by the wall. It was dangerous business, however, for there was every liability of falling into some hole. "Careful! Careful!" said Ned. "I think we've gone as far as it's safe to go. Let's stop and listen for a moment or two." This was doneJ and the result was most startling, for in a moment the sound of footsteps was heard ahead of them. "Little Dan!" called a deep voice. "Hello! Is that you? Hello, little Dan!" "What do you mean?" CHAPTER X. "That the drift ends twenty feet in. Quite a show of gold there, too. I reckon that was the place where PLOTTING IN THE DARK. :M:r. McCullagh did his best work." "You are sure it ends ? No hidden passage leading CAN anything be more startling than to have an n ?" enemy come suddenly upon you in the dark! "If there is I can't find it. I guess we'll have to This was the experience Young Klondike and his ackle the other drift, boys." friends had to go througl1 with just then, for in spite "All right. I'll let down the tub. We're coming of the fact that they were listening for these very ight after you this time; don't you move a step ands, it was most startling to hear that deep voice ntil we have time to come Dan!" close in their ears. "I don't think I will," replied the Unknown, "for Ned punch e d Dick as a warniug for silence, and the o tell the truth I expect to have trouble here. Unknown at the same time gave Young Klondike a bought I'd try tlie upper drift first, but the lower dig in the ribs. ne leads off toward the rocks at the end of the glen, And indeed they had need of silence fo:r; the new-nd there's no sort of doubt that's the one we want. comers were close upon t11em. h Here's the tub! All aboard Now, then, "Let them pass us," whispered the detective. ower away." "Let them pass us! It isn't safe for us to make a In a moment the Unknown was in the other drift. move." Go on," said Dick. So they remained perfectly motionless and let "No; you go," said Ned. unseen enemy come on. "No use trying to make you give up your point, is "Something must have happened to the boy," a here?" asked Dick. "vVell, I suppose I've got to voice said. "Do you suppose they could have cap ivc in." tured him? It would be strange if they had-quite So Dick went down in the tub and joined the detect-a case of tit for tat Ha! Ha Ha!" e in the mouth of the drift. Ned recognized the voice instantly. He knew that Ned then hauled up the tub part way and throwing Doc was near him, and certainly the knowledge did imself on the rope went flying down. not make him feel any the more secure. It was all he could do to swing in to the mouth of It was Joe who answered. ie drift, but by a great effort he managed it and the "Blast it all," he said, "I don't know what can nknown:caught the rope, after which it was all right. have the boy. I made sure he'd follow us, and "This drift leads on indefinitely," said the detect-never gave him another thought. Can he have turned e. traitor, think?" ''Then it's what we want," replied Ned; "but "Never! Little Dan is true blue. I'll back him ow do you know?" against any boy in the world for keeping his mouth "Looked ahead and found out." shut, if he don't want to speak." "I see the light is out. Did you put it out, or did "We'd better go on to the shaft and see. Perhaps go out itself?" we might try it on at the hut again, if we find that "I put it out because I was afraid it would be seen. Dan has remained there on the watch and everything act is, Ned, I heard a noise on ahead there. It is all right?" unded like voices talking, but I couldn't be sure." Try what on at the hut? What was the plan of "Then we are on the right track, but we can't ad1 these plotters who plotted in the dark? A


26 YOUNG KLONDIKE'S MASTODON Young Klondike and his companions held their l them and get back ourselves. Fact is, Ned, breath as the two men walked past them. There f found out just what we want to know and we canno>v was no chance to all they could do was to 1 understand why we were not attacked. These men take chances of being run against in the dJ.rk. never wanted to attack us; probably they've got a If that happened then it meant fight, and very good thing here and all they care for was to be let likely fight to the death. alone." Ned was all ready for instant action, and it is j But the drugging ?" scarcely necessary to say that with Dick and the "They wanted that gold hidden under the floor, of Unknown it was the same. course." In a moment the men had passed on to the end of ''Most likely. They were willing to leave us the the drift. Mastodon if we would leave them this place. Perhaps They could hear the rope rr..ttling, and knew that we will and perhaps we won't; that remains to be they were letting the tub down to the bottom of the seen." shaft. Don't forget the third man," whispered the Un" They moan to climb up by the rope," breathed known, as they neared the hut. Ned. "I guess this is our chance to get on to the "Yes, and there may be a fourth and a fifth. I'm end of this place and see where these fellows came on the alert. Let's have a look at the shaft first." from." "Have we got the time to spare?" questioned They listened until they knew by the sounds that Dick. "They are liable to come back at any mo-the two men had gone up to the level above. ment. I don't like the idea of being caught down "They'll find Dan at the house and he'll tell them here'." all," said the detective; "boys, I'm afraid we are on "Oh, you're anxious to get away," said the Un-the wrong s.ide of the fence." known. "Take your time, boy, take your time." "Then let's make the most of our chance," said It was all quiet enough now, and they hurried on to Ned. "Here, I'm going to light the lantern and go I the shaft. in." I It seemed to be about twenty-five feet deep, and to He did so, taking all th(f risk without even one have been very carefully constructed. thought of fear. J There was 'every facility for working it properly, Placing himself in the lead, Young Klondike press hi. nd stamped upon all the mining tools lying scattered on through the drift, which here took a turn, and al j about was Mr. McCullagh's name. in a moment found hi 1 self in a cave. 1 I'll bet you they are doing good business here," This was what he had expected. The cave was not said the detective. a one; the was low and on the rocky sides "Oh, I see it all as plain a.s day. These fellows the icicles hung thick. I struck into that cave by accident and went through A faint lig?t was visible of them and, to the sink. Finding gold they concealed it from their mg toward it soon came out mto the op e n, findmg-1 boss, and when the mine shut down they stayed beth, 1 1 l 1 "' l I emse ves ma arge sm \: ormc osu1e, among tie hind to work for themselves. I don't doubt for an inrocks. stant that they robbed Mr. McCullagh of these tool..; They were now on the other side of the wall which and every ounce of the provisions they are living ou formed the back of the glen over which the detective now." vainly attempted ,to pass. "Let's get over to the hut and have a look," said Before them stood a hut and a dump, showing that Ned. "After we have taken it in, we'll start right a mine was being worked. back and lay for Doc and Joe." The place was a wonderfully secure retreat, and "Do you mean to capture them if you can?" askect much of the mystery was now explained. Dick. "You can see bow it is for yourselves, boys," said "Well, ho I say let's give them the slip and go the Unknown, as they stood there gazing around the back to the Mastodon mine. We'll just mind our sink. "These men probably worked for McCullagh. business for a little. Later on I'll go down to Daw In some way they managed to discover this cave and son, see Mr. McCullagh, deliver him up the gold probably struck a good claim in here, and worked it we've captured, tell him all about it, and then let for their own advantage. I doubt very much if Mchim decide what to do." Cullagh knows that such a place exists." This seemed a sensible plan enough, and Dick and And this shrewd guess of the Unknown's was the the Unknown readily agTeed to it, but things were exact truth, as Young Klondike learned later on. not going to work out that way at all, as will pres-J ust now there was no discussion about it. Ned ently be seen. was anxious t9 explore the place thoroughly before They now advanced to the hut which was a very Doc and Joe returned. substantially built affair, and seemed to be quite They'll hardly bring Dan with them," he said, new. "and he'll be sure to tell them of our questions, and A light was seen in the window, and peering in that will send them flying back." they perceived that it came from a fire burning upon "Of course," said the detective. "We must dodge the open hearth. }


YOUNG KLONDIKE"S .MASTODON MINE. women sat beside the fire smoking and talking ] stant were running .across the snow toward the re in the darkened room. rocks, followed by shots from the rifles of Ned and 'If we could only hear what they are saying," Dick. athed Ned. The boys could easily have killed them if they had 'I believe we can," answered the detective. "See, wished to, but they had no such desire, of course. door does not open directly into the room; there '.J.'heir only idea was to frighten them away. st be a little entry. I'm going in to see." As they stood there atthebackdoortheysawthcm hey could distinctly see the side door opening make for the cave and disappear inside. the supposed entry into the room, by peering "By the Jumping Jeremiah, this is great bust the window. This is a common arrangement in incss !" cried the detective. "If those fellows had Klondike country, and is designed to keep out the been armed, it would have been all up with yours truly. I never had such a scare in all my life." he Unknown now tried the outer door, and finding "Weren't they armed?" asked Ned. en slipped inside, carefully closing it after him. "Apparently not. If they had been I should have ed and Dick waited and watched. found it out. Ye gods and little fishes I'm on the rn detective was gone a long time. Twice Ned inside track in this business now !" cd the door and looked in. V do you mean?" demanded Dick. "What oth times he saw the detective on his knees with have you found out, and what are we to do?" ear to the keyhole of the inner door. The first "Do?" cried the Unknown. "Why, we are to he simply motioned Ned back, but the second he stay right here! What have I found out? Lots! up and came out. I You'll open your eyes when I tell you! This is a Ned, for Heaven's sake let me alone a few mo-most dastardly business! Most dastardly! Oh, I ts," he whispered. "I tell you it's most import-only hope that we are good for them! If not, I don t They are plotting in the dark." care to live." us saying the Unknown went back into the entry The Unknown was terribly excited, that wa s easy closed the outer door. to be seen. CHAPTER XI. CAPTURED. HAT in the world do you suppose the Unknown struck?" asked Dick, after the detective had inside. 'm blest if I'll ever tell you," replied Ned. "It be something very important, though, or he never act the way he does." ey waited most impatiently, and Ned was just g to the conclusion that he would hayc to go the detective again, when all of a sudden there great commotion inside the hut. ough the window they saw the two men sudspring to their feet and jerk the inner door cried Ned, throwing open the as so! dvertantly the detective .had made some slight which attracted the attention of the two men. re was a first-class fight on hand in an instant. en Ned got the outer door open he found the ive struggling with four men instead of two, ere had been two others lying in the bunks. Unknown was fighting bravely, at the same alling to the boys to help. sudden appearance of Young Klondike and Dick end to the fight, for the four men evidently ing 1 ;hat there were others coming, made a bolt out of the back door of the hut and an in"Cool down," said Ned. "Cool down now Is there anybody else in this hut?" not as I know of, but there will be in a few mome ts...:..any time now, in fact, unless those fellows ttH' 11e'fu back." "Turn who back? What do you mean?" "I mean lots-I mean that at any moment we are liable to see Edithj here a prisoner! What do you say to that, boys? What do you say to that?" The boys were dumfounded. "What can you n:ean ?" demanded Ned. "How can they capture Edith and bring her here?" How? By bribing two of our men to do the job." "Ah What two But I need not ask; Cook and Jarvis played off sick the first of the week. They wandered down the gorge and were gone for hours." "You've hit it; they met Doc whom they know very well a .nd the bargain was made. Remember, dear boy, that all the men we are working on the Mastodon mine were working for McOullagh in this very place only a few weeks ago. Doc and Cook are old friends and were at one time partners. Do you see it now ?" "And you learned all this listening ?" demanded Ned. "Every word they said while they were plotting in the dark reached my ears. If I hadn't sneezed I might have heard more, but confound it all I did sneeze and you saw the result." "What's to be done?" asked Dick. "Are we to follow them?" "That's what we might do," replied the detective. "I propose to stay right here." "And wait for them to come ?" /


28 YOUNG KLONDIKE'S M A STODON MINE. "Yes." /a fight. We are dead sure to have one. After w "But think of Edith being dragged down into the has occurred I have no doubt that it means drift. It will half kill the poor girl." the knife, and the next time we shoot at those fell ''No, it won't do anything of the sort. Trust Edith we'vo got to shoot to kill." for standing up against it." This ended the discussion, and they started bac "Butwhat'sthescheme?" demandedNed. "When No one was encountered in the drift nor at do they mean to capture her?" shaft. "To make you give up the gold we took out from When they went out into the glen the place see under the floor, and also the nugget which that frozen I utterly deserted, and they saw nobody as they man found at the mastodon." I vanced toward the mysterious hut. "I see. The frozen man was one of this gang?" "They're either inside there or they've gone d "Certainly. He was little Dan's father. It was to meet Cook and Jarvis and help bring Edith he who called for help that night, and we, in our said the Unknown. ignorance, thought the cry came from the mysto\ious j "We'd better go in and see," replied Ned. hut'." in no mood for nonsense just now." "I see, I see. And the horn was blowing to guide I Grasping his rifle firmly he laid hold of the 1 him in?" and was about to open the door, when four men "Exactly. Now you know it all. They have no denly sprang upon them from around the corne desire to kill us, and they don't expect to drive us the hut and four revolvers were thrust in t away. They want that gold and that's all. When faces. they get it they mean to light out and leave us alone." "Surrender, Young Klondike !" was the "Where did the gold come from, did you learn "Surrender, or you are dead men !" that?." E N ven then ed tried to unsling his rifle, but "Out of the mine right here." "Dug without Mr. McCullagh knowing anything of its existence?" "Not at all. McCullagh knows all about it. They struck through the drift and finding this place, which seemed to offer a good prospect started in Doc was made superintendent and Barnsle -:s his assistant. Toge her they managed to see 'C'his gold, taking it little by little and making false returns." "Well, I must say you have listened to some ad vantage. Did those men go over all this ground ?" "Not entirely. I put this and that together and so managed to make out the whole story. You see Barnsley hid the gold under the floor of the hut, and at first afterhis death they did not know where to look for it. They sneaked back after McCullagh or dered the mine closed, and were doing well for them selves until this accident occurred. Finding that we were here, and likely to discover them, they deter mined to but did not do so until they found the gold. There, ''s the whole story. Just why they drugged us I didn't learn, but I suppose they wanted to make sure of having time to pull up the floor: undisturbed." the Unknown was going over the story of his discoveries, Young Klondike was thinking. "I don't propose to stay here," he declared. "I don't think it will give us any better chance to lay for them and rescue Edith than if we went up through the shaft and met them in the glen or the other hut." "All right," said the Unknown, quietly. "I don't agree with you, but you are boss, and whatever you say goes "Then we go." four men, instead of firing or waiting for the fire, sprang upon Young Klondike and his friends There was a brief struggle, which ended di trously for Young Klondike's party. They were all three captured at the door of hut. CHAPTER XII. THE TABLES TURNED. NEVER in all his life had Young Klondike felt thoroughly discouraged than when he found hi lying bound on the floor of the hut between Dick the Unknown. It seemed to him that it was all his fault; their capture had come about solely from not li ing to the advice of the Unknown. "Well, fellers, what do you think of it?" dema one of,.their captors, as rough a specimen of a .dfile miner as Ned had ever laid eyes on. "y OU us unawares down there in the sink, but we wer ready for you here, and I think you must admit considering you had rifles and we only revolvers did you up pretty slick. Ha, ha, ha! You ha' got your rifles now !" "Look here, neighbor," said Ned. "I don't you, but of course you know rne well enough." "Well, I reckon everybody knows Young growled the man, who had been left to g the prisoners while the other three went dow hill to meet Doc and Joe. "Then you know that I am a man of my Now, I've got a proposition to make to and--" "Back to the mysterious hut?" "Yes." "Amen! Off we go now, then, but prepare "Don't make it," growled the man. "Don't it. I won't hear to no proposition that mak for j necessary for me to go back on my friends."


YOUNG KLONDIKE'S MASTODON qE. 29 That's business. I like you all the better for The man never moved, nor did he stir when an drew back again and worked his way over to Noo, placing the revolver in his bands. t." Then don't try to bribe me." I was only going to say that if you'd go along r the rest and leave us alone here I'll give No, you won't. I won't listen. I'm true to d gave it up. He hardly knew what to say that. e case began to look pretty black. He did not the idea of giving up the gold which rightfully ged to Mr. McCullagh, but if it came to a ion of saving Edith's life there was no other To say that Young Klondike felt like giving one wild shout of triumph scarcely expresses it, but of course be restrained himself, for to have aone that miglrt still have rtlined all. He looked over to see if Dick and the Unknown were free yet. ,/As near as he could see without turn-. ing hi elf they were, and he was just about to make a mo e wbeh a loud shout rang out upon the still night air. " nd t.b.e boys at last !" cried the guard, springing up. i He rushed to the door and flung it open, calling to e miner now lighted his pipe and sat down to his friends, who were coming up the path, and such e by the fire. was his haste that he never noticed little Dan upon tle Dan, in the bunk, lay with his big eyes the floor. open. ''I'll put the boy back in the bunk! Let's turn the ougb it all the boy had never said a word. J tables on them suddenly," whispered the Unknown, eral times Ned had fixed bis eyes upon him, as the guard ran on outside. an always turned his bead away, as much as To spring up and lift Dan was but the work of an instant. 's no use to look at me. I can't help you," but be moment the man's back was turned, Dan a look at t.he prisoners out of his eyes "You shall be well paid for this, you brave little fell w !"breathed the Unknown. "By the Jumping Jere u shall never regret what you have done told altogether another story. ;vly be raised himself, noiselessly he threw his Don ver the edge of the bunk, his face all twisted the boy. be pain the movement caused him. you." et me go back to them, boss," whispered "You were good to me, let me stay with watched him breathlessly. "And so you shall if we escape," answered the den is going to try and help us," breathed the tecti ve, and he lay down again putting the cords over wn, in his ear, "but he'll be discovered sure." his hands and wrists, so as to make them look as nat-Dan did not mean to be discovered. The brave ural as possible, although we must admit he did not llow was as quiet and stealthy as a cat. succeed very well. n his well foot struck the floor he sank down "Now for a quick move, boys!" he whispered. heal), for to stand was quite impossible. "You are all ready, Ned? How is it with you, little by little he dragged himself over the Dick?" ward Ned. "If we only had another revolver!" breathed Ned. oys held their breath as they watched him. "There are our rifles standing in the corner by the was discovered then it was all up with Dan. door, but if we were to try to get them I suppose it 'd not doubt that the guard would half kill the would give the snap away." tle chap in his rage. There was no time to try-hardly time for the Unan had no notion of being discovered. known to whisper the glad news that he had a re-ged over to Ned's side and drawing a keen volver concealed in a secret pocket when Doc came nife, cut the cords around his hands and feet, hurrying into the hut. passing over the knife edged away. "Ah, ha so we've got you at last, it seems, Young ll this time the miner sat there ca.lmly smokKlondike!" he exclaimed. "And we've got some his back turned. one else, too! Give up that gold you took from the ed amazing that such a thing could be done, lower hut-give up poor Barnsley's nugget, or your is just what Dan did. friend, Edith Welton, will disappear off the face of e did more-Dan was a wonderful boy, we the earth, and you will never lay eyes on her again.'' nderstood. "Is that the style of your talk?" was a revolver sticking out of the guard s quietly. "Edith Welton is safe at the Mastodon et. Dan edged over that way little by mine, you can't bluff me that way." e up behind the man. "Can't, eh? Can't, ch?" chuckled Doc. "Look d Dick watched him breathlessly. As for here!" nown, it was just all he could do to keep At the same instant Edith entered the hut, and en-anxiety was so great. tered so suddenly that she seemed to have been this band on the revolver, and very gently pushed by some one from behind, which, indeed, was ut of the pocket. actually the case.


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STORIES Or, A GOLD SEEKERi Colored Covers. ; ft .... 32 Pages. Issued .Twiee a Month. Price 5 1 Young or, Off for the Land of Gold. ll Young Klondike's Claim; or, Nine Golden Nuggets. 3 .. Young Klondike's First Million; or, His Strike on El' Dorado Creek. 4 Young Klondike and the Claim Agents; or, Fighting the Land Sharks of Dawson City, 5 Young Klondike's New Diggh:igs; or, 'The Great Gold Find on Owl Creek. 6 Young Klondike's Chase; or, tl;le Gold Pirates of the Yukon. 7 Young Klondike's Golden Island; or, Half a MillionJ n Dust. 8 Young Klondike's Seven Strikes; or, The Gold Hunters _of High Rock. 9 Young Klondike's Journey to Juneau; or, Guarding a Million in Gold. 12 I$:londike's Gold Syndicate; or, Bre'aking the Broke Dawson City. 13 Young Klondike's Golden Eagle; or, Working a Hidden Min 14 Yeung Klondike's Trump Card; or, The ush to Rocky Rive 15 Young Klondike's Arctic Trail; or, Lost in a Sea cf Ice. 16 Young Klondike's New Bonanza; or, The Gold Dil('.r"rn French Gulch. 17 Young K londike's Death Trap; or, Lost Underground. 18 Young Klondike's Fight for a Claim; or, Tlle Boomers Raccoon Creek. l' 19 Young Klondike's Deep Sea Diggings; or, Working a Mouth of the Yukon. 20 Young Klondike's Winter Camp; or, Mining Under the Sno 21 Young Klondike's Death Creek Thia!; ?r, Downing the G King of Dawson. 10 Young Klondike's Lucky Catnp; or, Working the Unknown'.$ 22 Young Klondike's Mast.odon Mine; or, The Biggest Strik Claim, All. 11 Young K londike' Lost Million; Mine Wreckers of Gc ld 23 Young Klondike's Company K; o r Prospecting in anUnkno Creek. '-" Land. Jl!or Sale of: P ice, 5 by All Newsdealer Cents Per Co p y or will be Sent to Any Address on Receipt FRANK TDUSEY, Publisher, 29 west 2 6th St., New York.


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