The gold queen, or, Two Yankee boys in Never Never Land

The gold queen, or, Two Yankee boys in Never Never Land

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The gold queen, or, Two Yankee boys in Never Never Land
Series Title:
Pluck and luck
Austin, Howard
Place of Publication:
New York, New York
Frank Tousey
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29 pages ; 28 cm


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Dime novels ( lcsh )
Adventure stories ( lcsh )
Sea stories ( lcsh )
Treasure troves -- Fiction ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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033192581 ( ALEPH )
902812204 ( OCLC )
P28-00029 ( USFLDC DOI )
p28.29 ( USFLDC Handle )

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No. 1503 NEW YORK. MARCH 23, 1927 Meanwhile Barry and Joe were bard at work, and they bad already aent a large numbeJ' of the loge into the abyss. Slow work! .. Well, yes. Joe. i t iB, and ii those fellows make a rush, where are we? Price 8 Cents


I PLUCK AND LUCK Issued Weekly-Subscription price, :f4. 00 ppr year; Canadian, $4.50; Foreign $5.00. Copyright 1927 Dy Westbury Co. Inc., HO Cedar Street, New York, N. Y. Entered as Second Class Dec. 8, 1911, at the Post-Ultice at New York, N. Y., under the Act of March 3, 187:! No 1503 NEW Y O RK. MARCH 23, 1927 Price 8 Cents THE C OLD QUEEN OR, TWO YANKEE BOYS -IN NEVER NEVER LAND t B y H OWARD AUSTIN CHAPTER i.-Joe Rice's Plan-Departure of the Two Boys. "He'll never be heard of again, Joe." "So you've told me fifty times, and fifty times l've disagreed with you." "But it's true." "Rats! Anyway, it's a chestnut, and I'd like any other remark for a change. You've a face a yard long. Shall I tell you what you look like?" "If you want to." "The picture of misery, Harry. You look a& if you'd been hired to conduct your own funeral, and weren't sure of being paid for the job." Harry Hope passed his hand over his brow and through his fair, curly hair as if a sen s e of op pression was upon him, and despite his chum's advice the old )?loomv look came back to his handsome face Truly, there was good reason for his fit of despondency. A year before he and J oe R ice, his cousin, then aged fifteen, had left Americ a, their native land, and had gone to Melbourne, in Australia, where their. uncle, the brother of each of their mothers, lived. David Dixon, the relative in question, was a widower and had no children. He was considered 'to be a very wealthv man, a wholesale wool merchant, and his intention was that the two boys sho uld eventually succeed him. One day a financial panic came. Numbers of American houses failed, among them that of David Dixon. The old man's ruin was complete, but he paid every creditor in full, though it took all he had in the world to do so Then he disappeared. Where he had J!:One no one knew, for he gave no hint of his intended departure. It was the universal opinion that his failure bad driven him t.o s uicide, and Harry Hope took the same view of the case. It was a month after their uncle's disappearance, when the two sat talking in the room they shared together in the boarding-house where they lived; "See here, Harry," said Joe, after a pause, ''let's come to some decision." "I'm listening." "We've done everything possible. We've spent 't m onth in searching for Uncle Dave, and the police haven't been idle, either." "I know that." "Well, to live one must w ork, and we've done nothing the last "Except to spend a good part of our small stock, Joe." "We must call a halt, old chap, before it all goe s." "You're right,". said Harry sadly, rising as he and walkrng UD and down the room There' s onlv one thing to be done." "What is it?" "Take the next steamer for San Francisco. Let's do it while we have enough money to pay our passages." "It won't do." "Vlon't do? Do you mean to stay here?" "Yes: this bfrd intends to roost in Austral ia." -"To search for Uncle Dave?" "No; to make mv fortune. "Ah! then you don't mean to stay a n d make your fortune in Melbourne?" "Guess that's meant fpr sarcasm. If it is it's a worse failure than mv .iokes. I n America when a young fellow wanted to get o n the:v used to say, 'Go West, young man, go West.' well, I'm gping to West Australia, or Westrali a, as they call it now." "To Coolgardie to dig for gold? "To get it anyWay.'' -"Pshaw! Coolgardie's overdone There isn't a claim with an ounce of gold in it out what's taken up. Joe Rice jumped up excitedly "Look here, Harry, I've put my foot dow n. There's no mistake about it." "There oughtn't t

2 THE GOLD QUEEN "Then you don't mean to settle in Albany?" "I'll stav there about a day. Having fitte d out, I'll start up country, and strike out north, perhaps going a little toward the we s t. I'll do my own prospecting: who knows, I may find gold. Anyway, I mean to try.'' "Y u're crazy. Once in the bus h you'll starve." "Anyway,'' said Joe, looking hard at his chum, "I'm not afraid to risk it." Joe said this with a strong accent on the "afraid," and in stantly a flush came over Harry's face. "See here, Joe. No one dares me to do a thing. If it meant certain death I'd e:o now, after wha.t you said. Let's go round and take our p assagP.s and have a last l o ok at the city. Tomorrow we'll start on the journey that means leaving our bones in the bu s h.'' . "That remains to be s een. Be as gloomy a s you "like, Harry, you can't make me feel sad. The next dav thev started for Albany, which they reached on the fifth day after leaving M e l bourne. CHAPTER II.-In the Bush-The Meeting With the Hatter. At Albany the boys were advi s ed on all hands to abandon their project. Everybodv said that it meant certain death. This talk had no eff ect on either of the two Yankee boys. Joe Rice would not change hi s purpose because it waR he who had first suggested the adventure, and Harry's pride was aroused by the dangers that were held out before him for the purpose of convincing him of his foolishnes s The fitting-out took little time. Each of the boy s had a i ifle and a sixs hooter, which he had brought from America with him. Two saddle -hor se s were purchas ed and a packhorse to carrv the stores And so the boy s started, fee ling, now they were on the way, all that light-heartedness that had been theirs before mi s fortune had come to them and their Uncle Dave. Soon they lo s t track of civilization. Wh e n they were a week out from Albany, they went for two days without seeing a human being. The s t a tion s as the farms a J e called in Australia. had be e n all left b e hind, and of cours e there was no sign of cultivation anywhere. "Are you sorry you came now, Harry?" a s ked Joe, as they rode s lowly alo:rig through a c ountry where vegetation was plentiful. "Sorry! Why, it's great!" "Beats office work, eh?" "Out of sight!" The dav went on, and s o did the boy s and a s thev trave led an alteration took place in their spirits. Thev were not nearly so cheerful a s they had been. "Say, Joe.'' "Well?" "We can't las t much longer." "Jus t a s long a s our water last s t hat's all.'' "Look a t the hors e s. Joe." "Poor things! Thev're on their las t leg s." "How much wate r i s left?" "We can las t till t o morrow, that's all." That night they u se d the las t drop of water they had with them. Not a wink did they get, for they sat round the fire thev had made and dis c.ussed their prps pects. But the morning made thinJ!s look worse. Two of the horses, the saddle'. '. horses, lay dying. The third, the pack-horse, was in better shape. Harry led the pack-horse, and he and Joe trudged along. Hour after hour they journeyed, traversing a country brown with drought. Nothing green was to be seen, a few dry bu s hes here and there, and the boys suffered from a burning thirst which was madden ing: When evening came they lay down, dozing a little, but for the mo s t part feeling themselves unable to sleep. To remain was to die. So long as leg s would carry them they must on, m the hop e of finding water. The horse stai(: gered afong blindly, its tongue hanging out, and its eyes fiery red. All at once it sank in the sand quite worn out. "The end!" gas ped Harry, too, and clutching at Joe for support. "Never sav die. old chap. The tide will turn.'' "We'll be dead before it does.'' Harry sank down by the horse. Joe gave a wild s hout. "Smoke!" he cried. "Smoke!" "Yes : and where there's smoke there's fire!" "And where there's fire there's people." The boys walked rapidly toward some gum trees beneath which a thin wreath of smoke was rising. "Got vour rifle ready?" said Joe. "Why?" "Be cause, if there are only. a few blacks we can make a fight for it." They were now near enough to see a black man bending over the fire, and he s eemed to be alone there. This emboldned the boys, and they hurried thems elves to get near him. Suddenly he turned his head, and seeing the boys, he gave a loud s hout. Joe covered him instantly with his rifle, and a s he did so, a tall figure sprang up near the fire. "Drop that gun, youngster,'' he cried, "and come and ioin me.'' The boys were delighted to meet with a white man, and they lost no time in accepting his invitation A s s oon as thev reached the fire, they saw a water-hole halffull of water beneath the gum tree The y both made a wild rus h at it. The stranger seized them and h eld them back. "Put some water in the billy, Jacky," he sai speaking to the black. "Now, vou go slow. That's enough for you for the present; let your pal have a drink.'' "Boil the billy. Jacky. I'll brew some tea for y'ou, lads. That'll put you right.'' "Let me drink." cried Harry. "You'll get a s drunk ;i. s an owl if you do. I know what I'm talking about. I've been in the same street myself more than once. Strange thing, lads, but water, mind you, makes you d runk when you're dying of thirst." The billv was a tin pail, used in the bush for a variety of purposes, but more especially for mak ing the fragrant beverage-tea. Jack had it boiling in a few minutes, and after the two boys had emptie d it thev felt all their strength return. "Now w e 'll talk.'' said the stranger. "Reckon you'd bette r spin your yarn." "Our yarn?" "Thunder! but vou must have !Ipretty live'ry one to tell. You're in the Spinifex desert now, and a walk across that isn't taken every day.'' "But we didn't walk. We rode till yesterday, when our horses died," said Joe.


THE GOLD QUEEN s "And your stores. What of them?" "On a pack-horse. He dropped just as we saw you." "What! A minute or two ago?" "Yes." The -stranger jumped up, throwing his pipe aside in his hurry, and instantly he filled two billies with water. "If he's not dead I mav save him, I reckon. No; 'tav where you are. Rest; I'll carry this thing 'flirough." The two boys lay down and occupied themselves in watching Jacky, the black man, who was apparently a meal. It was not 1011g before thev saw the stranger returning, and behind him walked the horse. "He's none the worse," said th stranger. "Now, while Jacky's getting supper, tell me what you're doing out here, and who you are." The stranger darted a keen glance at the two boys, as if to warn them that he would have nothing but the truth. "We came here from Melbourne, where. we'd been living a year." "Afid before that?" "America." "And what are vou doing in the bush?" "Came here to find gold." The stranger laughed heartily. "That's a good one. Ha! ha! So you left your own country to find gold here. Of course you've got it. Say, your pockets are lined with it! No? Why, I'm surprised. Don't grin, Jacky, there's nothing to laugh at." The stranger reached out his hand. "Shake, youngster," he said heartily. "You mustn't mind a ioke. Pluck's pluck, and you've shown it, and I like you for it. There's my hand on it." "You khow our names, sir," said Joe Rice; "will you tell us yours?" "Oh!" said the stranger carelessly, "I'm 'The Hatter.'" "Yes. but--" "Stop!" said the stranger, interrupting him. "You're new, chums, as we say in Australia, so I'll explain m%elf. In bush parlance a 'hatter' 1Weans a man who lives and travels by himself, without a mate and without a name, except what he choose3 to give. See? Well, I'm a hatter, have been for twentv years, and shall be till I strike it rich. Come. let's eat." The supper was roast kangaroo, and the boy s l>ronounced it the best meal they had eaten since leaving Albany. When it was over thev soon thought of sleep. In a few minutes Harry wa:; snoring. The Hatter looked at them anxiously once or twice. "Those kids asleep, Jacky?" he said. "Have a look." The black bent over the two prostrate forms and satisfied himself and the Hatter that they were slumbering soundly. "Good!" said the Hatter. "I'll just fill up; then you start your yarn. Go slow with it, for, mind, I don't want to lose a word, and as I don't want 't!lYOne but me to hear a word, I'll iust take an oftier look." The Hatter then made a personal inspection of the two boys to convince himself they were really asleep. "Go right ahead, Jacky," h e said. "An earth pake wouldn't wake them.'' CHAPTER III.-The Gold Queen-The Midnight Dance. It often happens that a person who is over fatigued is unable to sleep. This was the case now with Joe Rice. But Joe was apparently sleeping as soundly as Harry. The fact is, Joe was shamming. He had heard the Hatter say that he didnt' want anyone but himself to hear a word of Jacky's yarn, and this was quite enough to determine Joe not to lose one i; of it. Jacky started his story, but it is quite impossible to convev in words the kind of dialect he em ployed. It was a species of English, and it seemed that the Hatter was auite familiar with it, for he neve r had to af?k Jacky to explain what his words meant. Joe Rice found it more difficult to understand what was being said, though he was helped bv the Hatter, for the latter had a good deal to say, and his remarks were usually either an inter pretation of Jacky's words or a comment upon them. "Oh, it's many vears ago," saictJacky, "when I was told first of this thing.'' "How many?" queried the Hatter. "Oh, many moons: many.'' "Bah! that' the worst of you blacks. You haven't got any reasonable ways of counting. Why don't you go in for almanacs?" I Jackv took no notice of this iemark, which was quite past his understanding. "Let's get at it," said the Hatter. "There's onlv one wav that I know. How big were you?" "A pickaninny.'' "That high?" The Hatter held his hands about three feet off the l!:rou11d. "Yes, yes." "That's about twenty vears ago, then, I reckon. Well, what did vou hear, and who did you hear it from? That's too much for you to swallow at once. Take one portion at' a time." "Someone came back to our tribe one day with a wonderful story. He'd been away for more than a moon, and we thought that the spirits had taken him. When he came back he had with him great Jumps of yellow metal.'' The Hatter grinned. "I've heard of the stuff. Jacky. It's called gold.'' "Now, we'd never seen this vellow metal before, and so we all wished to find out where he ha. got it . He'd been wanderintr in the bush and lost his way.'' "Great S-cott! his wits must have been wool gathering. It's not often one of you blacks is busJ:!.ed." "Well, he was, and so he got into Never Never Land." Never Land. I'll make a note of that. Go on.'' "He crossed the Never Never River and went on till he came to a range of hills there, and then he traveled north." "The same way as the range ran?" "Yes. Well, one day he came to a spot where the ground was strewed in every directiC'n -with bones." "Some of your black fr"ends been having roast man, I reckon.'' "No. It was a place of worship, for there he saw, set up on the rock, the yellow womaD."


'THE GOLD QUEEN "What?" Joe Rice turned lazily over on his back and "The Gold Queen. He said it was made of solid iubbed his eyes. yellow metal in the figure of a woman, and that "What's up?" it was so heavy that one man could not lift it." "Why, Joe, our friend struck camp. Left us, in "I'd have a good try." fact, during the night." "All a-round this woman were great lumps of "Has he left our stores?" the yellow metal, and the rocks that rose high "Don't seem to have touched 'em. Oh, 'he wasn't see med to be filled with it." a thief; it was easv to see that." "Now the yart of your: story. Joe Rice bv this time was up and bustling was gifted mdividual who invented this about, preparing a fire. All at once he saw :ra;;n piece of paper affixed to one of the gum trees. It was the tI};-th. It was my father; he al-Naturallv he looked at it without delay. spo,ke true. "From the Hatter, Harry," he said. "Listen I wont argue the point. Lets near what hap-to what he.. says Of co_urse vou all went to this wonderful 'I've a Ion."' ,. ourney b f f 11 f d :spot and earned off the gold?" "' e ore me, _u o an"For what! Gold is no use to the poor black." gers, 'Yhich I wan_t no one to share with me. Go "St th ti Th bl k -fi d ld back, if you re wise lads. If you must go for-ow a e poor ac n s go ve_ry ward, keep due north. You wili find water for a useful when he wants to buv rum from the white week. that it is death to 0 on!'" man. Anyway, the yellow woman would have "Ver kind f th H tt I' g J been a great find, Jacky for your tribe could have Y 0 e a er, n: sure, oe. d 'd 1 h d h' d h ,, Yes, very. Still, Im not going to accept his e i o ?f ei an wors eI. advice. I don't intend to go back, and I'm not ,.Her. No. she was a ?emon. going ::lue north." Oh, she reallv had feelings. Well, Jacky, lets "Wh t .11 d ?" llear all about it." a w1 you. o. . "She cursed our tribe." ",I'll.find the ,atter's trail, Harry, and I'll s tick "What for?" to ,.it hke glue. "Because my father had carried away the See here, old man, the Hatter s treated us fair lumps of yellow metal." squa;;; there's no mistake about it, is there?!! -"You had proof of' this?" ,.None. . "My father, a strong man, fell sick, and died. Very well. s playing it pretty low down o n .Mv mother went to the e:rave as well. The chief a fellow "'.ho, to travel alone to dog his 111f our tribe became blind, and the only child of my fo?,tsteps, isn.t it. lather began to wither away." Have your Don t say a word, but "Something done, of course?" .Im through have ,vour say, _not bethe priests of our tribe held a meeting, fC!re, and while Harrv was eating Joe Rice told :2nd they decided that therE!'d be no mercy shown him the won_derful that Jackv 1)-ad related us until the yellow metal was restored. No one to the H;atter. In. dead si lence listened, for "' Jiked the job, for they were all of the yel-he was inte!lselv inetrested, and it was only when llow woman's wrath. But one man, chosen by lot, Joe had fimshed that he uttered a word. was compelled to ao. We never saw him again." "Joe you're right!" he shouted, springing to his "But the What hapened to it?" feet, "a thousand times right. We must keep on "From that dav all was well. We prosP.ered." the Hatter's trail." "I see very well vou ceased to wither away, On that dav the two boys proceeded. They had Jacky. So you never went there again?" no difficulty in following the trail of the Hatter "Never. It would be to tempt the vengeance for he was riding, with Jacky walking by his 31f the yellow woman to do so." side,_ a_nd the hoof-;-marks and footsteps were plain" Anyway, you'll have to come with me to Never lv VIsible from time to time. The trail lay in,. Wever Land." northwesterly direction, so it was clear that if the Jackv threw himself on the ground in abject boys had followed the Hatter's advice they would terror. have seen no more of him. Night had fallen for "Oh, if you're going on like that you can stay some time, it was very bright, for iehind. I thought vou knew a bit more than the the moon was shininl? clear in the heavens, The nst of your tribe. You won't come?" hoys still walked on. for they were anxious that Jacky shook his head. the Hatter should not 1?et too far ahead. Sud-"Ver'y well, I'll l?O alone." JC!e broui?ht Harry to a halt. "Are you going to seek the Gold Queen?" asked I believe there are a lot of people ahead." Jacky, with amazement. "Why?" "T.hat's my game. See here, I've been in this "Seems to me I saw some shadows flitting about lush for a good manv years, and I've heard of through the trees." lfie Gold Queen before. That's what's kept me "Hitch up the horse, then. We'll si:o forward Jiere. Till now, I was never able to locate it. and have a look round." Reckon what you tell me's a straight yarn. Any-The boys had not gone verv far before they ..-ay, I'm going to act on it, and as soon as the discovered that Joe was rii?ht. Cautiously. they .mn's up, Jacky, we'll be off." advanced, until thev reached a group of big The Hatter threw himself on the grass and soo n and behind the trunks thev secreted themselves. 'fell asleep. But it was long before Joe Rice could Looking out, a strani?e sight met their eyes. 01!, tllo the same. Every nerve thrilled at the strange the ground the remains of a fire smouldered, an'lf le he had heard, and when he did find iest it lying beside it were the Hatter and the black. was only to dream of the black, Jacky, and the both of them fast asleep. Around this sleeping C>ld Queen. pair a band of ferocious blacks had formed into a "Here's a go!" cried Harry Hope the next circle, and in this way thev s lowly and noiseleSSlJ' morning. "Wake up, old man." moved past the doomed men.


THE GOLD QUEEN. CHAPTER IV .,.-A Toilsome March. "No shooting," whispered Joe Rice, hastily putting a restraining hand on Harry's shoulder. "It's the only way to save them." "No, Harry. Anyway, not if we fire from where we are now. Come." "Why?" "I have a plan." Joe led the way, moving noiselessly amid the 2'Mlit of trees that fringed the clea:ring where the Hatter and Jacky, the black, still lay fast asleep, with the hostile blacks formed in a circle al'Ound them. "I hope your plan's a good one, Joe," said Harry, rather angrily. "I'll never forgive myself if anything happens to those two men through our leaving them. Recollect they saved our lives!" "I forget nothing. Now, Harry, listen to me. If we'd jump out as you wanted to do what would have happened?" "A few blacks would have gone under, I guess." "And do we want to send any blacks under?" "Well, no." "I should think not. They've done us no harm, and we are not even sure that they mean mischief to the Hatter." "It look s mighty like it." "Stav where you are." "Where are you going?" "Round the other side. Directly I get there I shall fire." "Not to kill?" "Of course not. You do the same. Then dart away, say about twenty yards, and instantly fire again. That's what I mean." "Good! They'll think there's a big force here." "Yes, they'll imagine they're caught in a trap and they111 fly in all directions, and depend on it, they'll be so scared they won't even think of the two men." Joe Rice hurried round to the opposite side of the clearing, and Harry, looking across, saw him raise his rifle to his shoulder ready to fire. Harry did the same. Bang! Bang! Joe fired and Harry j.nstantly followed suit. Then both boys put in the tactics they had agreed upon, and almost immediately, from two different l)arts 'of the circle came a series of shots. The blacks seemed 'instantly to be panic-stricken. They forgot the two sleeping men, and thought onlv of themselves. Wildly they made for the bush, dashed among trees and flew in all directions, without once looking back. Scarcely had they gone when Joe Rice and Harry Hope mad0 their appearance. The Hatter was standing up now, fully awake, with his rifle in his hand, and be held the weapon in a threatening attitude toward the boys. "Put down -your gun, mister!" cried Joe. "We're friends." "Great Scott! li's you, is it? Gosh! but I'm not quite awake yet, I'm thinking. Where in thunder did you spring from?" "Never mind where we came from; we got here ill. time to help you." That's true. We were in a nasty corner. It's mv own fault. Jacky wanted to keep watch. I wouldn't let him, telling him there were no blacks in this part of the bush. Well, I was wrong, and ncady paid for it with my life.'' "Say, mister!" said Joe. "Well?" "You know better than I do what's to be done next." "D'you intend to stay here?" "Not much." "I thought not." "Mercv on u s Those black fellows'll get over their scare and back they'll come. We must strike camp and make tracks like greased light ning." The Hatter's preparations for departure did :q.ot occupy a minute. He led his horse through tbe bushes, Jacky following, the boys going in ad vance toward the spot where they had left the pack-horse. Arrived there, the whole party start ed. Progress Waj; not fast, for none of the fugitives were riding, except the Hatter, and he only went at a walking pace, so that his companions might keep up with him. However, by going on. continuously, and traveling all they found. when morning came, that they natl put a good distance between themslves and the spot from which they had started. "I'm getting tired," said Harry. "On. on!" cried the Hatter. So on they went, pressing across a terrible desert from which all trace of vegetation had gene. "Brace up, young un," said the Hatter. "Tu a drop of this." "'\Vhat is it. water?" "Drink, I say." "\Vhy, it's whisky!" "Something like it," was the laughing answer. "I don't hold with boys taking the stuff 'cept i11 need. In such a time as this every drop's worth. millions." "I feel better, anyway." "You will for a time. I'd be better without it,.. though," said the Hatter. "I drank a lot of it last night, so did Jacky. That's what made us sleep so soutJd." "Reckon it saved your lives, anyway." "How?" "Why," said Joe, "if you'd woke up before we came, those black fellows would have speared you." "By gosh, but that's so. See those rocks," cried the Hatter, pointing to a low ridge on the fringe of the desert. "Well, if I'm not mighty mistake we'll find water there." "Yes, yes, water!" "Oh, you think so too, do you, Jacky? Well, if that's the case it's all right. These blacks seem to smell water. It's wonderful, but they do." "How far are those rocks?" "I'd sav about four miles." "Four miles!" gasped Harry. "That means four drinks of whisky," laughed the Hatter; "one a mile." "No, no. I'll get there without." And so Harry did, but it was a fearful struggle.. "Water!" cried Joe. "Jacky was right." "Jacky, make tea." Jacky was not long in kindling a good fire, and speedily he brewed the tea, which refreshed all the party. "What's the next move?" "Well, Joe, that's your name, isn't it? And you don't mind me calling you by it, do you?" "No, Hatter." "Good! The next move is for you and your


6 THE G9LD QUEEN friend Harry to get under those rocks where you'll be in the shade; lay on vour backs arid go to sleep. Do you think you could manage it?" "I'll have a good try, anyway," laughed Joe, and he hastened over to the place indicated, fol lowed by Harry. In a few minutes the two boys, quite worn out, were sleeping soundly. CHAPTER V.-Joe's Plan. It was evening when the boys awoke, or rather "'7hen J ackv awakened them. "What's the game?" cried Harry. "Are we on the tramp again?" "No." "You mean to stay here?" "Why not?" Joe had come up. and both he and Harry looked the picture of health and vigor now. The rest had quite restored them. "Say," cried Joe, "if we stay here let's do some thing." "Certainly," answered the Hatter. "Sit still. .That'll be enough for you to do." don't mean that. Aren't there any animals about we can get a shot at?" "Plenty.'' "Where?" "They're not here yet. They will be when it gets later." "What kind of animals are they, Hatter?" "Much the same as you and me." "The blacks?" "You've said it.'' "Oh! then you think we shall have trouble with them tonight?" "I'm dead sure of it.'' "Then whv don't you move on?" "What's the good? We won't find a place tnat'll give us better shelter than this does, and if we did strike camp the blacks would be bound to overtake us before morning.'' Joe sat silent and thoughtful. Harry busied himself in keeping the fire going for want of something to occupy himself with. The Hatter, calm as ever', smoked his pipe, and Jacky sat by his side, seemingly indifferent to everything. Joe was the first to break the silence. ";;ee here, Hatter," he said. "It seems to me we've not much chance where we are now.'' "I've already told vou that we can't find a safer spot.'' The tones of the Hatter's voice showed that he was somewhat irritated, but Joe took no notice of this sign of temper. "Well, I don't know," said Joe, after a short pause, "but if we've got to fight here, at least we can do something to make things a bit safer." "How?" "Joe means," cried Harry, "we might build up a small fort.'' "With what?" "Those rocks.'' The Hatter laughed loudly. "Ha! ha!" he cried, "try your hand at moving one of them, my lad. No,.no, that won't do, the whole four of us couldn't make the smallest rock you see budge an inch." ''That settles Joe's scheme." -"It's mighty kind of you, Harry, to explain my scheme to the Hatter.'' "Not at all," laughed Harry. "I'd do anything m the world for you. Joe." "Then oon't try and read my thoughts again, for at that game you're a jay." "Then you didn't mean building a fort?" "Not at all." "Well, what did you mean, Master Joe, if you don't mind telling us?" "Well, friends," said Joe, "you see us sitting here and you see this fire?" "Guess we ain't blind." "Now, supposing we were to lay down, wrappe# upon our blankets by the fire?" "Thunder! why, those blacks'd skewer us with their spears." "Ah! but supposing," said Joe, with an artful look, "that we reallv didn't happen to be in the blankets around the fire?" "Go on!" said the "Instead of our being in the blankets, there would be four logs of wood, made up to look like us." The face of the Ha,tter began to b _righten up now, and he waited anxiously for the continuation of Joe's scheme. "Now, you see those rocks over there?" "Yes." "Good! Well. our four wooden representatives would be warming themselves by the fire, and we should be behind those rocks." "So that--" "When the blacks come up they'll think we're asleep by the fire. They'll creep pretty close, then they'll let fly a shower of spears. At the same time we shall pepper them with bullets. Now d'you understand?" The Hatter sprang about three feet into the air. "By gosh!" he shouted excitedly, "when I'm king of Never Never Land, Joe Rice shall be commander-in-chief of my army.'' Joe's plan put them all in a good humor. The very fact of having something to do was a relief, and everybodv went to work with a will. Plenty of wood was at hand, for the place had often been used for a camping-ground. Four large logs were dragged over and pl d in position near the. fire. Then each log was wrapped in a blanket. From a little distance it was impossible to dis1 cover the fraud. "The woner we get behind the rocks the better." "Not a doubt of it," ieplied the Hatter, "but what in thunder is Joe doing?" "Oh, he's not had enough exercise, so he's dragging a few more logs over. It's such pleasant work." Joe certainly threw three vreat pieces of wood onto the fire. "What's the game?" "To smother the flame for a time, so that we can steal over to those rocks in the dark without running the risk of being seen by the blacks in case they're an::vwhere near." "Gosh! but you're a wonder." "I've got brains, that's all.'' Under cover of the darkness that Joe had caused, the four made their way to the rocks, of , course, taking all their arms with them. Five minutes later Jacky grunted, and the Hatter, who understood him, knew something had happened. "Out with it, Jacky.'' "Ma ter, they are coming now. I can see them.''


THE GOLD QUEEN 7 1'hey all believed him, though his eyes alone were able to discern any object in the darkness, and with their rifles in their hands they awaited the enemy. CHAPTER Vl.-The Boys in Trouble. The blacks had come into view. The fire was shooting up great flames, rendering every spot as as though it was day, and the four behind the rocks saw that they had not over-estimated the number of the enemy There were not less than forty blacks approaching, looking frightful with their naked bodies covered with streaks of "Paint. On they came, stealthily. Suddenly they came to a halt, and their leader made some signs which seemed to cause much joy. "He's pointing to the dummies round the fire." "Yes, he thinks we're asleep." "He'll find out his mistake pretty quick." "Look!" As Joe spoke a forest of spears waved in the air, and the boys saw the savages getting ready to hurl thei ; r long warspears with their horrible barbed points. Harrv knitted his brows. "Wretches!" he mutteed. "We've done you no harm and you wish to kill us. I've no regrets "Fire when I speak," whispered the Hatter. The leader of the savages raised his hand. Instantlv there was a wilcl whoop, calculated to chill the blood with terror, and immediately twenty spears flew at the dummies around the fire, some of them piercing the logs wrapped in the blankets. "Now let them have it!" shouted the Hatter, and instantly three rifles were fired. Almost immediately three blacks dropped, for neither the Hatter nor the boys had missed the marks at which either of them had aimed. The blacks were terror-stricken, but they did not run awav at once. "Fire again!" cried the Hatter, and instantly another vollev was sent at the enemy. By this time, however, the blacks had had enough of a fight with an unseen enemy and they were rapidly retreating. "Stay here, lads," exclaimed the Hatter. "But where are you going?" "Guess I'll follow up those black chaps a bit and see whether they're going right off." Scarcely had the Hatter departed than Harry shook Joe's arm to attract his attention. "See!" he said. "I'm looking, but I s ee nothing but darkness. The fire's pretty well out, and it's not ep,sy now to make out anything." "D'you mean to tell me you can't see so me thing moving about "the ground?" "Where?" "Over by the horses. Take a good look, Joe. Tell me what it i s." Joe Rice looked, long and steadily, in the direc-tion indicated. "Well, what i s it?" "Blacks." "Sure?" ..,:Absolutely.'' "What's their game?" "A game that mus t be s topoed, and without delay, too. Thev are after the horses.'' "Great Scotti and I never thought of it. We'll finish them off.'' Harry was delighted with what had happened. The prospect of an encounter at close quarters with the black s was full of excitement. Stealthily the two boys made their way toward the horses, not going acro ss the open plain, but crawling over the rocks. This was a work that occupiE:d more time, but it enabled them to get to the spot without being seen bv the blacks. Arrived there, the boys looked over one of the highest rocks and saw that several blacks were now within a few yards of the hors es. "That's near enough," muttered Joe. "I sho uld think so We must put an end to their fun, instantly.'' So the two boys sprang out. "Here, you black fellows!" shouted Harry, holding his six-shooter at them. "If you don't want to be blown to kingdom come you'd better skip. Skip, I say!" The reply was delivered in the most unexpected manner. There was a dull sound. It was the noise cause d by something heavy falling on Harry's head, and it was followed by Harry sinking to the ground, apparently lifeless. Joe was com pletely astounded by this occurrence. He turned around lo seek the cause of it, and this turning round was what got him into trouble. The instant he was looking away from the blacks three of them sprang forward and, with the swiftness of lightning, they threw themselves on Joe Rice. "Keep back!" he cried, thinking that his words might have some effect, and as he shouted he continued to struggle to free himself from his captors' arms. The grip thev Had on him was one from which there was no escape, and in a minute or so Joe realized that he was overpowered. Now he be gan to shout to the Hatter, in the hope that the latter might be near enough for the words to reach his ears. --"Help! help! These black fellows are carrying me off!" They really were doing it, and despite hi s strug gles he was taken away from the camp. One of the blacks said something in the native tongue, and instantlv a hand was placed over Joe's mouth to stifle his cries. However, Joe had been heard. The Hatter, followed bv Jacky, came running up, and naturnlly he went to the rocks where he had left the two boy s It did not take him long to di scove r that serious events had occurred during his short absence, for he found Harry lying where he had fallen. "Dead!" he cried, aghas t. "Mer. cy! I.hope this poor boy i sn't fini s hed with. My fault," he con tinued; bitterly. "I should never have left the camp." "Not dead, master,' said Jacky, who had been bending over the prostrl!te lad. "Good n ews, Jacky, what you tell me. Hope it's true. Yes, I can feel his heart beat; s o he's all right. A drop of the infallible will pull him together in double quic k time." Saying which the Hatter opened the boy's lips and poured down his throat a small quantity of the whisky. It had such a ootent effect that Har ry was sitting up in a few moment s. He .Jooked round dazed for a few seco nd s Then he gave a cry. "Where's Joe?" "Reckon I don't know." "Ah! J remember now, the sava2'es. They've carried him off.''


8 THE GOLD QUEEN "The blacks. Say, think you can run? Stand up and try." "Very well, we must run after those fellows. Jacky'll trail them for u s Come!" In l e ss than a quarter of a mile they came in sight of the black s who had been able to proceed slowly only, probably owing to Joe's struggles. "Found!" cried the Hatter. "We'll have him away from them at once. Leave this business to me. I'll tackle these men." The black s with their prisoner, had halted now. Turni n g th e y faced the pursuers in the boldest manne r pos sibl e Harrv an.d the Hatter covered them with their -gun s N ow," said the Hatter, speaking in the native tongue, surrender t h a t boy, or we'll shoot you!" "There are three of u s here," was the reply. "You can only kill two at one shot. The third man will stab the boy!" And with a fiendish look of triumph on his face he held a long, keen-bladed knife at Joe's breast. CHAPTER VIL-Arrival at the River. "He's lost!" gasped Harry, clutching at the Hatter's arm a s he spoke. "Not quite yet, my lad," an s wered the Hatter, hoars ely, "but he's in a -mighty bad fix." "Gan we do anything?" "Talk, that's all. We can't fire, that's dead sure. The black villain's right. If we sent a shot at either of tho s e men they'd pla11t the dagger in your chum' s heart instantly.'' "Then what's the good of talking?" All this talk had taken place very hurriedly, while the Hatter and Harry stood w atching the three blacks and Joe Rice, their prisoner. The natives now b egan to move away, taking care to keep their face s towards the whites, so as to watch their movement s Naturally, going in this fashio n, they could not retreat very rapidlj. The Hatter hoped to detain them, for he knew if the y once r eached the main body of the black s it would be almost impossible to 1escue Joe. "Say," he cried, speaking in a native dialect, "what's your hurry?" The blacks stopped at once, and one of themthe man who had spoken before-answered in the same tongue : "No time to wait," he said. "We ,hasten to join our friends." "Let's make a treaty." exclaimed the Hatter. "For what purpose?" "To benefit you and u s." The black grinned. "Ah, you don't think we can help you," answered the Hatter, keeping down his temper with difficulty. The black nodded in ass ent. "Well, there you're wrong. You don't want our friend. He's no use to you." "Is that all you have to say?" "No. I'm going to tell you what we'll do. You give him up.'' "Neve-!" "Wait: I'm not thl'Ough yet. You him up to us and we won't hurt a hair of your heads. And say, we'll give you a great piece of tobacco--'' The Hatter stgpped to see the effect of the bribe, and was amazed to find it was coolly re ceived. "That's not all: you shall have-" again he paus ed to make the offer more impressive. "You shall have a great bottle of fire-wate r." "Ah!" Two of the blacks gave a shout of satisfaction at this, and the Hatter turned hastily to Harry. "The game's ours," he said, with a smile "the whi skv hit the mark at once." Here, again, the Hatter found he had made mistake. Some excited talk was going on between the three blacks, in the course of which the one who had_ acted as spokesman made use of many threatemng p;estures. As soon as the talk was at an end, he spoke. "Keep your fire-water," he said, mockingly, "We'll keep our prisoner. Besides--" "Well?" "When we want fire-water we'll take it. You are three. We are more than ten times as many. If you want to keep vour fire-water drink it quick ly, or it won't be safe. Ha! ha!" The notion seemed to amuse the natives and they laughed loudly. i''He's scared those men," said the Hatter. "How?" "Told them that the chief will kill them if they give up the prisoner. That's why they won't. 'Phunder never in my life did I se e a nigger refus e whisky before. What' s that?" "Jacky!" "Jacky's done the trick." The friendly black, Jacky, had crawled away by anybody, while the talk was tak mg place betwe e n the Hatter and the black and he had drawn quite near to the latte r. Suddenly he spran_go forward, and doing so he la1;1ded heavily on the man with the knife, hurling him to the earth and knocking the weapon from his hand. Then the black followed up his advantage by throwing himself on his fallen enemy and keeping him where he lay. "Our time's come, Harry!'.' cried the Hatter. Cover one of thos e s coundrel s with your rifle I'll take the other. Ah! you've already done it: Gue ss you don't want much telling. Now shouted the in a voice of thunder, "let go that lad or w e 'll kill you!" For a moment the two black s stared hard at the speaker, but their hesitation was only momentary. They released Joe Rice, and without stop ping' to think of their comrade they turned and fled, evidently being surpris ed to find thems elves alive. "Off with you!" s houted the Hatter. "Get up. Jacky, and let that wretch skip." In les s than ten minutes the party struck camp and once more res umed its toil s ome march. sun ros e, and noon came with its fierce, burning heat, and at length ev e n the Hatter agreed that a halt must be made. "When we get to thos e gum-trees we'll C

THE GOLD QUEEN 9 rivers are queer things. Dry one day and a rush ing torrent the next, and then in a few days as dry as ever again." "Well, this isn't dry!" shouted Joe, joyfully. "Look how the water's running. It does one good to see it after being frizzled on this desert like we've been." "Hurrah!" .;:ried Harry, throwing down his rifle. "Now we'll have a great time. Off with ._JPur clothes, Joe, and have a swim." "You're crazy!" shouted the Hatter. "Crazy or not, I'll be in that water befo1e you can count ten." Before the Hatter could say another word the two boys were rushing toward the river. CHAPTER Vlll.-The Boys Have a Swim. Harry and Joe arrived at the bank and plunge, d headlong into the stream without a moment's hesitation. The Hatter and Jacky were at the brink of the stream now. "Come back!" cried the former. "You'll be drowned for sure if vou don't." It was good advice. and the two boys, having their fun, were dispo s ed to follow it. It so happened, however, that it was impossible for them to do so. The torrent had by now attained a :fearful rapidity. The boys were silent now. They had no breath to waste in talk. and, in fact, they h11d as much as ever they could do to keep themselves afloat. The Hatter was alarmed, but he had no means of helping them. He and Jacky followed, keeping close to the water's edge, hop ing that the current would bring the boys within reach. The contrary took place. The water forced them every instant further out into the middle of the river. "Look!" cried Jacky. "Well?" "See there!" "Ah! that's so: an island in the stream. It's not much out of the water. Still, it's a resting )llace. Once thev get there something may be one. Hurry, Joe!" shouted the Hatter. Joe Rice glanced round. "Make for that island ahead of you!" Every stroke carried them yards nearer t e Island and eventuallv they landed there, not much the worse for what had happened, merely feeling somewhat out of breath. They s tood up a few minutes to shake themselves, and then once more they went into the water, lying full length in the t;hailow s with only their heads showing. "Ha! ha!" laughed the Hatter, "the sun's jist a lrlt too warm, i s it? Well, I reckon this'll be a lesson to them, anyway." The Hatter stood up and lit his pipe, hoping to obtain some comfort from that. In this he was evidently disappointed, for a few minutes later he dashed it on the ground with a crv of despair. .Jacky looked up, wonderingly, never saying a word, but evidentlv awaiting an explanation. "You don't see?" shouted the Hatter to Jacky. "Me see. Oh, very well." "You see nothing," answered the Hatter, scorn fully, "and I was nearlv as blind. Those boys are lost, Jacky. The river's rising, not falling. Jn >an hour the island will be covered and they will be swept away." The Hatter had no thought of leaving the boys to their fate. He had determined to save them if it was possiple for him to do so, and so he ran hastily to his pack-horse, and now he was coming back to the river with a long coil of rope in his hand. "If 'Ye can get this rope across, they're all right," he cried. Rapidly he unwound it. ... Ge me a s tone, J aclty he exclaimed, while he was at this tas k. "Not too big, mind." Jackv seemed tq understand what was required for he returned 1in a few minutes with one of the required shape and s ize. Without a moment's .. :)Qss of time the Hatter tied the rope carefully to the stone. "Hold fast to the end of the cord, Jacky. Get off the rope. Let it run free." The Hatter hurled the stone with all his force toward the i s land. Time after time he tried to land it there, but the distance was too great. He never got within thirty yards of the i s land. "Take a hand at it. Jacky!" he exclaimed, in despair. The blacks can throw to a wonderful distance, but although Jacky sent the stone ten yards further than the Hatte r had done, his efforts met with no succe ss. "You see, Harry!" cried Joe. "Yes, I s ee it's all over with us, and so does the Hatter." The last-named was sitting on the ground now looking the picture of despair. CHAPTER IX.-On the March Again. Tl\e Hatter did not remain in this attitude long. He sprang up, and dashed his hat on the ground, using an angry expression as he did so. "They swam across, why shouldn't I? Give me the rope, Jacky, or, say, tie it round me and hang onto the other end." The Hatter had taken off his clothes, and with the rope fastened around him, he sprang into the stream. The current had changed, as the boys speedily saw. "He can't reach us!" cried Joe. "Strange, but we came along right "Yes, I see how he's fighting with the water, but it's no use. He'll have to go back." "He's going nqw. So are we. There's not much of the island left now." "The Hatter's landed. What's the next move," "He's bringing great log s down to the water's edge, and, hello! there's Jacky, come back from the hors es with a lot more cord." "Great Scott! he's making a raft!" "A raft! Waste of time, Harry." "Why?" "If he couldn't get here, how' s the raft to do it? Wonder he doe sn't see that." "He's working pretty smart. Why, he's going to launch it. See, he's got it fas t to the rope, and he's holding the end of it, Joe." "No, by jingo, he i sn't!" cried Joe Rice, merrily. "It's a smart scheme, and no mistake." Joe rushed up to his armpits in the water, and at the same instant Jacky, standing on the raft, hurled the stone toward the island. The throw was a good one. Joe caught the rope, which was fastened to the stone ..


10 THE GOLD QUEEN "Don't let go, Joe." but they were pale now, for she was evidently "Think 11m an idiot? Come, hang on-this rope frightened at seeing the strangers. will holrl two of us. It's fastened to a tree, so "Were you expecting your father?" asked Joe. all's safe." "Yes, yes. Have you seen him?" The boys had little trouble in getting back now, "We haven't come across any one. Was he and in a few minutes Joe, Harry, the Hatter and alone?" Jacky were all having a good laugh over what "Oh, no! My two brothers were with him." had ended so happily, but might easily have been "And these camels are yours?" a trage dy. Jackv was now shouting to them. He "Yes." had boiled the billv and made the tea, and feeling "Then," said the Hatter, joining in the talk, hungry as after their exertions, they sat "there's nothing to be frightened about, for, de down the fire and made a hearty meal, after pend upon it, my dear child, they'll soon be back." which tffi:v started on again. Till nightfalt on "My father and mv brothers went away this they went. The Hatter said little, contenting him-morning to hunt. Thev left me asleep, bvt when self with nulling away at his pipe. Such >:cenes I woke up and found they hadn't returned I were not new to him, but the boys found some-wasn't alarmed, because last ,night they told me thing to foterest them at every step they took. they should leave the camp early, and I wasn't Soon after starting next morning the horses be-to feel frightened. Of course, when I heard you gan to exhibit signs of agitation. They danced calliI\g I thought thev had come back." round and round, pricked up their ears and trem"Are you on a hunting expedition?" bled from head to foot. The Hatter looked about "No, no," said the girl, somewhat sadly. "My him anxiously. father was a farmer, arid he had a large station "They're scared I" he cried. with a great qantitv of sheep. Then the drought "What is it? Blacks?" came: the ponds all dried up: there was no water; "Don't think so. Joe. Most likely a lirk." the grass disappeared and the sheep died." "A lirk! That's a snake." "An old story," said the Hatter. "And so your "It's a pretty bad sort of reptile. Just you boys poor father v...1s ruined?" cast your eves round you. If you see anything "Yes, sir. So be decided to strike for the West that looks like a log, it's a !irk, and it's a case Australian itold fields. That's where we are boun4 of 'Hands off!'" for now." "Can't be that, for there isn't even a twig on "Guess we'd better sit down and wait," said the !?round." Harry. "Bring that horse along, Jacky. I'll take the "Right," answered the Hatter; "we can't leave other. Steady. steady, now," said the Hatter, the girl here alone. It's a good chance to have a patting him. "There's nothing to get scared at. bit of something. Start a fire, Jacky, and give us Come!" something to eat." The Hatter and Jacky, assisted bv the boys. While Jacky was at his work the Hatter was urged the two tremblinj!; animals forward until busy trying to pacifv the horses who were still they came to a thick growth of bushes and scrub. very restive. Eventually he succeeded. When he Here it was even more difficult to get the horses got back to the camp he found the two boys and to move, anrl, as the narty advanced. thev kept the girl chatting awav as freely as if they had their weapOJlS ready for instant action, fearing known each other all their lives. The meal was a some c!angetwas near. Then Joe made a great merry one. discovery. "And where are you going?" asked the girl. "Camels!" he shouted at the ton of his voice, "To Never Never Land." and he and Harrv were so surprised that they re"I never heard of it." mained rooted to the spot. The boys and the "You should have given us the old joke again," Hatter s c anned the great desert, broken here and cried Harry. there bv scrub, anxiouslv looking for the owners "What's that?" r of the animals. but seeing no one. "Why, that you never, never heard of it. I "Hello! hello!" shouted Joe, as loudly as pos should have done it." sible. "Yes, but she's not quite so foolish." No answer came in response to his cries, but to "Thanks, Joe." their utter amazement a young girl rose from "You see how grateful he is for any little kind-behind some bushes and stared at them. ness." CHAPTER X.-The Girl's Story. "Papa!" cried the girl, clapping her hands to gether, joyfully. "Where' are the rest of your family?" said Joe Rice to the Hatter, with a laugh. "Ha! ha!" exclaimed Harry. "You never told us about them." "For the reason that they don't exist. You see the poor child has discovered her mistake. Let us go to her and see what it means." The girl seemed to be about fourteen years old. She very pretty, with bright, golden hair, and, no doubt, had plenty of color on her cheeks, "I wish papa would come," said the girl, getting up and looking all around. "Tell you what!" cried Joe. "Well, out with it. One of your brilliant ideas, I suppose." "Yes, I get them sometimes. Say, we'll go and look for the wanderers. How does that strike you?" "No reason whv we shouldn't," said the Hatter. "Perhaps they've lost themselves." "That's not likely, Joe." "But it is," replied the Hatter. "And it's pre cious easy to do it, too. Why, even the natives get 'bushed.' as we call it, sometimes." "Let me go with you.'' persisted the girl. "No, no! The sun's too scorching! Keep in the shade of these bushes as well as you can. We're used to the sun and don't mind it."


/ THE GOLD QUEEN 11 "So am I." "Very likely, but we'll go much faster without you, and bring your father back all the quicker." The last idea seemed to satisfy the girl, and she saw the boys and the Hatter start without bow ing any further desire to go with them . Eventually, however, the trail, which had become fainter entirely disappea1ed, as even the Hatter was bound to admit. out. Bareheaded, thev stood around the 'place of burial, and Joe said a simple prayer his mother had taught him. Then rapidly the sand was heaped over the corpses, and some great stones were set to mark the spot. "Let's separate," cried Harry. "A good idea, isn't it, Hatter?" "You bet! Listen to one thing." "What's that?" "Let's keep in sight of each other. then we'll be on the safe side. Now, mind, don't forget." "All right." The Hatter went straight on. The boys diverged pn each side of him, further away at each ste"R, but still keeping in mind the Hatter's advice. Joe reached a grove gum-tree and sorted it. A minute later the Hatter saw. him rush out ilgain, waving his hands excitedly. "Something's up," muttered the Hatter, and mstantly he began to shout to Harry. "This way, Harry. Hurry up, my lad." Harry, hearing the cries, came bounding across the sand, urged on more by the gestures he saw Joe making than bv the Hatter's shouts. The Hatter had already started for Joe, going slowly, and when HaJY joined him he quickened his l)ace and soon they reached Joe. "Come!" exclaimed Joe, hoarsely. Silently, full of wonder, thev followed him, and when they had gone about one hndred yards all thtee came to a sudden halt. Joe said nothing. But Harrv and the Hatter uttered cries of horror. A shocking sight presented itself. On the ground in front of them lay three men quite dead, with a .JP of spears stickinl? out of each. Already they were covered with ants, and the crows were near at hand ready for a feast. "Horrible!" cried Harry, aghast at what he saw. d "The father and -the two brothers!" excla1me Joe. "This is a dreadful busiiless." "It's an awful story we have. to carrv back to the girl." said the Hatter. "Frightful." "She must never know_!" cried Joe Rice, quickly. "It would kill her." Thev were alT silent, for they knew Joe was right. CHAPTER XL-Rose and the Snake. "The storv we have to tell her requires some thinking over," said Harry. "You never spoke a truer word. Let it wait, though." "Why, Hatter?" "We have work to do." "Where?" "We must put those poor fellows under the ground," said the Hatter, pointing to bodies. "And that's all we can do for them. Instantly they began to scrape away the sand. using some pieces of wood and _also the of the blacks to assist them. This took time and when it was finished the three bodies were all laid out in the grave that had been hollowed "How about the story we've to tell?" "All right, Hatter, we'll invent that as we go along. We've a good step to go." "Look here," said Joe, "the simpler our yarn is the better." "That's admitted." "Well, Harry, we'll suppo,se they've got 'bushed,' as the Hatter calls it. Lost themselves, in other words. Then we wait around where we are in the camp. We'll wait there twenty-four hours, if you like. At the end of that time we'll start again and keep a good lookout for them." "You've struck it, Joe." "But, Hatter,'' said Harty, "can we venture to stay in the camp so long? Think of those blacks who must be near." "The longer we stay the better. Those niggers have gone down stream, Harry, for I saw their trail. Let them get a good start of us." "Very well, that's the yarn. Who'll tell it?" "Why, the Hatter, of course," cried Joe. "I did my part of the work in inventing it." "I'm agreeable, lads. But see here. No long faces, mind; that'd give the whole thing away. Try and look cheerful, and don't seem to worry. It's mighty hard, lads, but it must be done. Ah! there's the girl waiting for us. Now for it." "Are they coming?" cried the girl. "It's patience you must h:;, my dear. The fact is, they've got bushed. You know what that is. All we can do is to wait till they come back. Don't be anxious, for you've no need. to be." "They'll be back all safe and sound," cried Joe. "And meanwhile,'' laughed Harry, "we'il try and get along without them. Give us a song, Joe. Light your pipe, Hatter, and Jacky, make some tea." The girl was completelv deceived by their manner, and when night came she fell asleep and they covered her with a blanket, for it was chilly. All that night Joe and Harry, the Hatter and Jackv kept watch, for the blacks might be near, but morning came and not a suspicious sound had been heard. Toward evening the Hatter proceeded to carrv out the second part of the program by suggestiing that it was time to move. "We must find them, mv dear,'' he said. "You must trust to us to do what's best." And as the girl offered no objection a start was made. "No more walking now!" cried Harry. "'It's great to be on a camel, isn't it, Joe?" "Grand!" 'fhe Hatter s miled and said nothing, afleast for a time. "Something wrong with the tea, I reckon,'' he remarked after a while. "Whatever makes vou say that?" asked the girl. "Why, Jacky makes the best tea I ever tasted." ( Jackv smiled from ear to ear with delight. "P'rhaps I'm wrong,'' went on the Hatter, gravely. "Maybe it's the sun that's turned Harry and Joe green and yellow, or, I have it, the camels! It's great to be on a camel, isn't it?" "Grand!" cried the girl, with a burst of laughter.


12 THE GOLD QUEEN "I've had enough, anyway!" shouted Joe, springing off the animal's back. "It's like being on a ship," gasped Harry, fol lowing his example. "Gues s I'll walk a bit." "We won't go any further to-night," said the Hatter. "You can rest." "You'll soon get u se d to the motion," said the girl. "I was like it when we started. Well, good-night, boy s I'm going to sleep." "What! without anv supper?" "I'm too tired." "One minute. Before you leave. us." said Joe, "won't you tell us your name? Mine's Joe Rice." "And mine, Harry Hope." "I'm Ro se Foster." "Good.night, Miss Foster!" said each cif the boys. "Good-night, Mr. Rice. Good-night, Mr. Hope," answered the girl, giavely. Then the'1' all three laughed together. The formal way _in which they had addressed each other in the bush seemed s'o comical. "This i s a nice business," muttered the Hatter. "Got a girl to take care of now, and I suppose those two youngsters'll be ready to cut each other's throats over her before long. Oh, well, it can't be helped, s o I'll have a pipe." The Hatter always sought comfort in this way, and he sat up, smoking, long after the boy s were asleep, leaving Jacky on guard half the night. Then, until morning, he kept a clo se watch. While Jacky was cooking breakfas t the Hatter went for a stroll, thinking it advisable to have a good look around. Ro se Foster was still asleep, and Joe and Harry were cleaning their rifles some dis tance from her. All at once graspe d Joe's arm. "Look at Rose!" "What' of it? I see her." "Don't make a sound. You mustn't ris k waking her." "Thank you!" answered Joe, stiffly. "Guess I know how to behave myself." "Ah, but don't you see, Joe? That frightful thing on her blanket." "A piece of wood off a tree." "No, no, it's a snake. I saw it move." .. What!" "Quiet! Watch it!" "Mercy, but you're right! One bite, and it's all over with her. What's to be done, Harry?" "Is your pistol loaded,' Joe?" "Yes." "So's mine." "I wouldn't dare to shoot from here." "Neit!ler would I. We mus t crawl close over and smash its head with our bullets If we get near we sha'n't hit Rose." The two boys glided stealthily forward, and Jacky, turning, saw with his quick eye how great was the peril. Seeing the. Hatter approaching, the black checked him by waving his band s for he knew that anv noi se might rouse the snake. Bang! bang! The boys, when near enough, fired. The shots were good ones, and the head of the snake was practically carried away. Rose sat up with a start, hastily throwing the blanket aside. "Why did you do that?" she asked. tremblingly. "It's-" began Harry. "A wav we have of wakihg our friends," cried Joe, with a laugh. "Get the cobwebs out of your eyes, Rose and come and have breakfast." N .ot until that was at an end did they tell Rose and the Hatter of her miraculous escape. CHAPTER XII.-A Corrobborree. Two days later thev crossed the river, or rather the bed of the stream. It was now quite dry, as the Hatter had predicted. Slowlv they journeyed on for the most part across burning sandy deserts. Thev had met with no blacks. and it was unlikely they would do so until the nature of the countrv changed. Nothing but absolute necessity would drive people to such a land as they were now in. Rose asked often about her father and brothers, and the boys and the Hatter did their be s t to quiet her. This was not difficult, for the thought of what had taken place had never entered her head. Two days later the party came to a well-wooded countr.y, in which the grass grew as SQft a s moss. They had shade whenever they required it. There was an abundance of'game to be met with, and fruits of various kinds grew plentifully. "Now we're living!" cried Joe. "But perhaps nea1er death." "Why, H;atter! You are a Job's comforter. Don't throw cold water on us." "Wlrnt d'you mean, Hatter," asked Harry, "by that peculiar remark?" "It's pretty plain, I'm thinking. Where there's fruit and game there's blacks. See? Well, those blacks may likely as not fill us with spears if we run against them." "We mus t keep good watch, then. That's all there is to it." "I shouldn't mind a brush with them, Joe." "Nor me, Harry, especiallv if we can only meet with the crowd that killed Rose's people." ''You have your wish!" cried the Hatter, in-stantly. "Look!" He pointed to the bushes that were opening in every direction, and through the s paces w ern pouring in great numbers. Rose shrieked. Harry and Joe put their rifles to their shoulders instantly. Quick as lightning the Hatter jumped forward and laid his hands on the bov s "Are you crazy?" he asked; "Make no resistance. We are overpowered. Fire one shot and it's death to all of us." The boys realized in a moment how wise his advice was. Thev could not have defended themselves for five minutes. Already at least one hundred black s were on the scene. They were of all ages, and women were plentifully mingled with the crowd. The blacks s howed no signs of hostility. On the contrary an old man, who appeared to be their chie.f, came forward with signs af deepest humility. He spoke to the Hatter, who answered him in the same dialect. "What's he saying?" "It's all right, Joe. These blacks are friendly, and whe n they are friendly you can trust theflt. al:lsolutely." "That's good news. "Yes. They're going to hold a corrobborree." "What's that?" "A feast, and they invite us to join."


THE GOLD QUEEN is "Guess we'll take it in," exclaimed Harry. "It "Well, not this minute," said Joe after a pause, ought to be good f:un." which enabled him to collect his thoughts. "Well, I accepted the invitation and told him "See here, Warunga," said the Hatter, "I don't to go right ahead and we'd follow. Come along, mind telling you that we've been taken by surboys. Cheer up, Ro se. There's nothing to fear." prise-fairly staggered, my friend." In ten minutes the party reached an open s pace Warunga grinned. and at once thev dismounted. Here more black s "What doe s my white friend want?" were found. They were heaping fuel on a huge W arunga wa s acute, and he was b eginning to fire, which 'burned fiercely. In the. middl e of this b e s u s picious of this aimless talk. fire were what appeared to be lumps "Your white friend wants to know when the day .olJnud. Almost immediately the black s men, woi s to be that i s to make him a happy man?" men and children, formed in two great rings "You mean the dav when you're to be mar-around the fire Thev looked dreadful, for they ried ?" were half-naked, streaked with chalk, yelled at "You've hit it." .. the top of theirvoice s and brandished their war"When one sun and two moons have come and spears gone the w e dding will t a ke place." "Won't they ever stop?" asked Harry. "Thanks Warunga. That means the day after "Yes, a s soon a s the food's cook e d." to-morrow, in our way of speaking." "But I don't see any." W arunga grunted assent. "Wait and you will." "Can't you give u s a day or two longer?" asked They danced for fully an hour. Then, a s s oon Jee. as they stopped one of the men, with a long pole, "No, no." raked out from the fire the three lumps of mud. "You try him, Ro s e," whispered Harry. "Now, look," said the Hatter. "Pleas e del a v the-the-" Rose almo s t chok-The first lump of mud was opened and coned-"the m arria g e for a few days." tained a roasted kangaro-. In the second lump w a s "It may not be. The wi s e man of the tribe has a fine emu, and in the third-which was the larg-fix e d the day. We cannot alter it." est-was a mixed a ssortment oi snakes and birds The Hatte r sat silent. H e knew perfectly well "I pass the last," said Joe. that if the wi s e man had b e en con s ulted In the ''bh it's horrible! Shall we have to eat it?" matter.his d ecis ion was final, for be was acquaintwe'll have to eat something,. Ro se to e d with the cu s tom s o f the black s Warunga rose pleas e the peopl e If they give us a choice, try a at this point and s ignaled to the black women to bit of kangaroo, and pretend you're enjoying your-do the s ame. self. That's the great thing." "The white maiden will go with thes e women of "I'll try. my tribe." The blacks were perfectly s atisfied with their The Hatter came to Ro se's rescue instantly. gues t s They all partook of the roas t kangaroo, "That can't be, Warunga." which, as a matter of fact, wasnot ll;nplea sant. "Why not?" When every ve stige of the food had di sappeared "Becaus e our wi s e man told u s she mu s t dwell the natives notwithstanding the amount the y had with h e r own people till the day comes for her to eaten, began to dance again. However, nature a s be your bride." serted itself speedily, and one after another they "The wi s e man of the whites ?" soon fell on the gras and were sp e edily fas t "I said s o." asle e p. Except the whites, one black man and "What the wi s e m e n say," remarked Wa1unga three hideou s -looking women, all were after a paus e, "must be ob e yed." ing now. One of the black wom e n was e s p e cially "I thought that would fix you," muttered the attentive to the Hatter. The two oth e r s we r e H atter. He .knew how supe r s titi< ; m s the blacks ch taken up with the boy s The black man was were. leering at Ro s e in a frightful manner. "We shall se e you to-morrow?" a s ked Joe, anx"They're getting a bit too friendly, Hatter." iously. "It's all right. They mean no harm. "When day breaks ," r e Plied Warunga. "Let's hope not." And then the old chief and hi s three women "My brothers and my s i ter," began the black friends retired to their own quarters man. "Well, I don't know, Hatter," cried Joe, "Why, h e s p eaks English!" stantly, "but you're a nice kind of a friend." "Steady, Joe. Don't interrupt. L et's li sten." "There's wors e about." "My brothers and my sister," repeate d the "Maybe, but I've no time to look for them," black. man, "you have come among u s and we ans w ered Joe, hotly. have learne d to love vou." "You're a bad, wi c k e d m a n, H atter," e xclaimed "You haven't taken long about it," c r i e d Joe. Ro s e, "and I'll n e ve r n e ver fo rgive you!" "You shall n ever leave u s," said the black man, "Oh, ye s y o u will!" solemnly. "Never! My brethren, you shall mar"We s hall s e e." r:v my three black s i sters. I will make this white "No w, Harry!" cri e d the Hatter. aiirl my wife. L e t u s be friends." "Well?" .CHAPTER XIII.-Joe Gives His Friends a Surprise. "Marry you!" cried Joe. "Not-" was Joe stopped at this point, for the H atte r looking at him with a warnipg e xpres, ic.n n :1is face. .. / "It's your turn." "To do what?'" "To let m e have it in the neck. Can't you say something nic e about m e ?" "No." "How's that?" "Can't express my thoughts My stock of lan guage i sn't enough; I'd want a dictionary."


14 T H E GOL D Q UEEN -"Ha!-ha! " Oh, it is a laughing matter, is it?" "No, Joe, not by a mile, but can't you see I was acting for the best?" "You were?" "Why, of course You don't suppose I intended to marry that fearful old hag, do vou? Not much No no, boys, we must get out of this scrape some how." don't think thev will change their minds to-morrow?" "Not the slightest chance, Rose, not the slightest. What the wise man says goes. He's looked upon as a god. I know, because I understand some of their jabber. That's how I managed to keep Rose with us. "Yes, that was good of you." "So then you do foi;give me?" "I must, I suppose "Then," said Joe, "as thev won't alter their minds, and as we can't, not being consulted in this matter, there's only one thing to do." 1'Skip?" "Exactly, Harry. That's the only way of stopping the ceremony." "I propose we go t o-night," remarked I:Iarry. "Yes, why not?" "Look!" The Hatter pointed to two black men and two women who were seated exactly oppo site t.o the miam or leafy hut in which the whites no,w were. "Think they're watching us, Hatter?" "I don't think, Harry, I know." may go away." "They will when it's daylight. "So we're prisoners?" "Just as much as if we were behind the bars." "Well, men have broken out of prison, so shall we. "No harm in trying, Harry, only be careful." "Why?" "If we fail in the attempt they may kill us, eh, Jacky?" "Yes, yes. If white men try run away black men kill them." "That settles it," replied Joe, calmly. And Joe threw himself down on the grass as cool as possible, and commenced to eat some wild raspberries he had picked. "By gosh! you take the cake." "I'm all right, Hatter. What's the good of worrying yourself? Things'll come right. And Harry joined his chum. "Miss Rose," said the Hatter, solemnly, taking her hand, "I'm a rough man, I know, but I'm dead straight, and no one can say I'm not. See here, my dear, I'll save you from these blacks or I'll throw my life away in trying. More than that a man can't do, can he?" "You are a brave man, Hatter. "No, no, only a --" But whatever the Hatter was about to say was lbst forever, for Joe shouted out these words: "At twelve o'clock exactly we start. I shall be very much amazed if you're not all ready." CHAPTER XIV.-The Plan of Escape. "I mean it," repeated Joe a few moments later, noticing the surprised lo o k on each of their faces. O h, yo u do?" "Sure, Hatter." "Going to fly?" "No, wings haven't grown yet." "They will some day, JoEf." "Certainly, Harry. I'm so good." "Ha! ha!" "Anyway, if I'm not good myself I've made somebody feel good. That's the first time you've laughed to-day, Rose." "I couldn't help it, you're so sillv." "And this is gratitude! Never mind," said Joe rising and .e:oing to the back of the miam. will save you all in spite of yourselves." Joe picked up a large two-gallon jar which they had found on one of the camels. "That's whisky, my lad!" cried the Hatter hastily. "Guess I know that. Shouldn't want it if 'twas;; water." "The moon's struck him!" cried Harry. "The moon doesn't rise till one. That's the i:ea son I said twelve." another Joe stepped out of the miam mto the small rnclqsure that surrounded it. Then, when he had reached the gateway he paused and sat down, still having the .iar with him. Raising it to his lips he took what appeared to be a good pull at the whisky and then set the jar down before him. "He'll be in a fearful state in a few minutes. "It's a shame, Harry, to let him go on so. Some one ought to stop him." "I will." "Sit where you are!" cried' the Hatter, putting out a restraning hand. "Why?" "No particular reason. Well, just to oblige me, if that's sufficient." One of the two black men seated opposite the door of the miam came over rather eagerly and smacked his lips. "You want some?" asked Joe. The blasck spoke no English, but }\e s eemed to understand, for he laughed and opened his mouth, and imitated the act of swallowing. "Well, trv it." The black seized the .iar greedily. ,_ "Hope he'll bathe in the fluid," murmured Joe. "Ah! Ugh!" cried the man a minute later as he coughed violently and seemed to be choking The fiery spirit had taken his breath away. But he i'eturned to the charge with eagerness, this time drinking more than half a pint of whi s ky without flinching Joe took the iar away from him, fearing he might carry it off, and the man slunk back to his companions. They had been watching him clo s ely, and after looking all around the camp to see that they were not observed they came in a body to the door of the miam. first," said Joe, presenting the jar to the older of the two women. She showed bv her performance that the first black was quite a novice in the art of drinking compared to herself. As well as could be judged from the time she kept the jar at he1 lips, she must have swallowed more than a pint of its con"'1\' tents. "Try your iuck, madam," said Joe, politely, handing the jar to the second lady. Then the second man had his turn, and on,r->


THE GOLD QUEEN 15 more the jar went round, each helping him or herself generously. The liquor was already be ginning to take effect, for the drinkers walked back unsteadily to their former position. "You'll be ready at twelve?" asked Joe, going into the miam with the jar. "You've saved us!" cried Rose. "Oh, you've just found that out, have you? The game's not over yet. There's a fellow round at the back. I heard him. He must be served the $\ine way." Joe cut a way through the boughs that formed the wall of the miam, and sure enough there was the black fellow who had been stationed on guard there. Invited to drink, he accepted the proposal instantly, and took enough to kill an ordinary man. "That's a good scheme of yours, Joe." "I think it's not bad, Hatter." "But there's a lot to do vet." "I know. We want our horses and camels." "And we must have them. A tramp through Never Never Land is out of the question. Besides, all our stores are with the animals." "Say!" cried Ha1ry, rushing in. "Those people are paralyzed. They're lying asleep on the ground." until they were a quarter of a mile from the camp. "Hurry up now!" cried the Hatter. "They'll hear us." "No, they won't. Get on the camels, boys. Keep a good lookout ahead, and Jet's make all the distance we can before they start." "Who?" "The blacks. Great Scott! why, they'll be after us right enough. Don't make any mistake about that, and they'll follow o'ur trail easily enough The only thing for us to do is to get all the start we can. We may escape if we're two hours ahead of them." As they on verv little was said, for every body, Rose rncluded, was listening intentiy to find out whether dreaded blacks we:r;e approaching. All at Just as day was breaking, Harry, who was m advance; brought his camel to a halt. "You'll all want wings nQw!" he cried. "Don't you think so?" And their hopes fell as they saw in their path way a yawning chasm. CHAPTER XV.-Jacky's Brave Feat. "See what the fellow a:t the back is doing." "He's in the same condition," was Harry's an-swer, after taking a peep. "That settles us," said Harry. The "Then we'll tramp," said the Hatter. seemed too surprised to say anything for a mi:rlJoe went first, then Rose, then Harry, the Hat-ute or two. ter bringing up the rea1-. The H3;tter himself down at the edge of the-"I think we shall do the trick," said the Hatwith his legs dangling over the side and ter; "they've eaten so much to-day that they'll all his everlasting pipe between his lips. Rose trem be precious sleepy. There doesn't seem to be any bled for his safety, but he assured her there was one stirring." r no danger. "Ha!" "It's a few hundred feet to keep Il)e from fall. As Harry uttered this exclamation a man rose ing over. Joe!" .. Q 1 h "Well?" 1 up in front of the fugitives. uick as ig tmng, Harry threw himself on the man before he could "Worked out that plan?" use the spear he carried, and sent him to the "No. I'm beaten this time." d th bl k d l d "And you, Harry?." ground. Joe J:Umpe on e ac an c app!l his hand over his mouth to prevent him from ra1s"Oh, I've found a way." ing an alarm, and the Hatter was kneeling down "Good!" cried the Hatter, eagerly. "Let's have in a moment binding the man's legs and arms it." together. "It's quite a simple plan. All that's required is ..,.Here, fasten this round his mouth," muttered that one of us shall get to the other side." the Hatter, indicatin.11: a scarf he was wearing. "Young fellow," exclaimed the Hatter angrily Jacky did this part of the business in a minute. "this is no time for joking. If that's your only "Think there are anv more of these fellows plan you might as well be silent." a:bout?" "It's nearly twenty feet across," said Joe. "No "Can't say, Harry. If there are be as quick one can .iump it." with.them as you we1e with the last. You save d "No one's going to try, Joe. Better go back on us beyond a dqubt." our trail, even if we do meet the blacks." "Maybe there are sentries watching the cam-Jacky's mode of ending the dispute was a pracels." tical one. He wasted no time in argument. He "Not likely." stood up about ten yards from the edge of the "Why?" chasm. Then suddenlv he dashed forward toward "Because, Joe, niggers are scared out of their the abyss. No one could have stopped him, and live s at camels. They were at horses when they to have made an attempt would h?We been to have first saw them, and if they hadn't wanted us bad-made matters worse for the brave native .. But }y as husbands and wives," laughed the Hatter; they watched him, spellbound. They saw him halt "they'd have run miles when they saw those cam-for an instant at the edge of the gulf. Then els. The bravest man in the camp won't go near with a terrific spring, he leaped across the void'. thoe animals/' "Done! by thunder!" roa1ed the Hatter. And so it proved. The place was quite desert-Jacky h_ad landed on the opposite side, not exe71; the burdens the animals bore were untouched. actly on his feet, but so that he was able, with his Not a moment was lost now. Jacky led the way, hands and knees, to obtain sufficient support to and in single file the rest followed, Rose, seated keep him there. on one of the horses, being the only member of "The greatest jump r ever saw. Beats the recthe party who rode. Very silently they proceeded ord, Harry."


16 THE GOLD QUEEN "Catch this!" cried the Hatter. "This" was a stout coil of rope partially un wound, which the Hatter threw across to Jacky. "Now, once that's made fast we can all get across." ,'But the horses and camels?", "Right you are, Joe. I was forgetting them. Say, but it's bad having to lo se them." "Don't see why we should, either." "How's that?" "Look here, Hatter, all we have to do is to cut down some wood and make a bridge. How long will that take with three axes at "Now eYerything's plain sailing. Make your-self c0mfortable, Rose.'' "But can't I help you? Let me do something." "Can you climb a tree?" shouted Joe. "You just see me!" cried Rose, angrily. "I should like to. Listen, Rose. I wasn't jok ing. You can do us a good service by getting to one of the higher branches of that tree over there.'' "But for what?" "To keep you out of mi s chief exclaimed Har ry. watch for the coming of the blacks. From the tree you can cover a great distance. Directly you see them, give a shout to warn u s. We'll work, you watch." Rose showed that she required no instructions in the art of clirqping trees, and while she was getting to her elevated position, the Hatter and the two boys were already busily at work with their axes, felling great bougbs and stripping them of their leave s.'' "Two of us work, the third carry the lumber over to the gulch," .said Harry. "How does that strike you?" "Go right ahead, Harry. No one wants to de prive you of the pleasure of hauling these small pieces of wood." And so Harry had the heaviest part of the work to do, but he labored like a horse, knowing how much depended on his exertions. The two others kept him busy, until now a great pile of lumber stood all around the edge of the chasm. The Hatter was busy with the rope. He tied the ends of two log s to the cord, and Jacky dragged them across. Being fully twenty-five feet long, there was a good margin at either end. When half a dozen logs had been placed in position in this manner, the :work was proceeded with much more rapidly, for they u sed the lumber that had been thrown across as a bridge. "It's wide enough!" cried Harry. "Quite. Hurrah! We shall see the Gold Queen after all.'' "Now for the cross-pieces, so that the animals can get a foothold.'' "The black s the blacks!" cried Rose fran tically. "Where? Where?" "Coming up the hill. Oh! such a lot of ,them. They're a good many hundred yards away yet, though.'' "Come down, Rose, at once!" shouted Joe. "Hadn't I better stay here, Hatter?" "No, no, my dear. You've told us all we want to know. Quick! Well, you didn't take long in coming down. Now go across that bridge. It's quite safe." And the girl lightly stepped over it. The boys and the Hatter worked furiously with the crosa pieces till they had laid sufficient. "The horses first!" cried the Hatter. Each of the boys led one of the trembling animals over, and the Hatter and Jacky, who had returned, were busy with the camels. Up the val 'ley came the shouts of the blacks, and as the last camel stepped off the bridge the tall spears of the natives could be seen above the bushes which grew thickly on each side of the trail. CHAPTER XVI.-Harry Is Wounded. "If they get across it's all over with us," cried Harry. "Yes, and that's the very reason why they mustn't.'' As Joe made this remark he ran with all his speed toward the bridge that had been placed across the chasm. Harry followed at his heels. The natives were now visible, and when they found the fugitives so near they halted, feeling that their capture was certain. "Oh, why don't Joe and Harry come?" ex claim e d Rose. "They'll both be killed!" The Hatter, to whom she spoke, turned round in great surprise. "Why, I thought they wern with us! Ha!" he said, after a good look. "Why, I see what it is. They're brave fads, and want to prevent those blacks from following us." "But how can they stop them?" "By throwing the bridge into the gulch, Rose.'' Meanwhile, Harrv and Joe were hard at work, and they had already sen t a large number of the logs into the abyss. By the time the blacks ap peared on the other side of the chasm, the bridge had b een tumbled into the gorge. "Off's the ,word!" shouted the Hatter. "Without stopping to say good-by," laughed Joe. The two boys and the Hatter turned and fled, and not till then did the blacks recover from their panic. Then manv of them fairly howled with ra,g:e. The Hatter glanced over his shoulder. "Down!" he cried, quickly. As he spoke he threw himself flat on the ground, and the two boys, without knowing why, followed liis example. In a moment they under stood the reason. A shower of spears flew above their heads, but thanks to the Hatter's action, no harm was done by the weapons. "Now, right ahead for your lives!" With these words the Hatter das hed at a terrific pace, the two boys following. In a moment there was a cry of pain. "I'm hit!" cried Harry. "Don't give way. Your life depends on it.'' "It's only a flesh wound. I'm all right. "Saved!" cried the Hatter, as the corner was turned. "Not quite," said Joe, "but we can dodge these easily enough.'' The boy referred to some spears that were falling almost perpendicularly. The blacks had resorted to this scheme, now they could no longer the enemy. "We're out of range altogther now. Let's look at the wound.'' "It's a mere nothing.'' "But a narrow escape, all the same, Hany.


THlf GOLD QUEEN 17 It's just grazed your shoulder, carrying away "'But there must be an(antidote?" a small piece of flesh, and drawing some blood. "I know none." But that won't hurt you, you've plenty to spare. oe's filled with tears. The thought of When we get to the camels we'll dress the losmg hrs chum, Harry Hope, was very terrible. wound." Even more so was to see the poor boy stretched The three fugitives were still running, the on the ground apparently suffering greatly as talk taking place as they went along. the poison went through his veins, and to feel "There's the camels!" shouted Joe. how helpless he was to aid him. "Stop! stop!" cried Harry. Jacky had his lips to the wound now, and was "Stop! not much. You're a fine runner if a doing his best to suck out the poison. The little sprint like that tires you." Hatter shook his head. "Stop!" gasped Harry. "Jacky's a brave fellow," he s aid, "but it's Th Hatter, struck by the tone of the lad's too late. The stuff's .l?Qt too much of a start. -voice, turned instantly and then he saw how If we'd known it at once we might have done ghastly pale Harry was. something." "Here, this won't do, Joe. Pull up. Harry's Rose was bathing Harry's forehead with water, knocked out of time by that spear wound. weeping bitterly as she did so. "Can't you run?" "And this is my doing," murmured Joe. "But "I feel dizzy, Joe." for me he'd never have come. We'd both of u.s "What's to be done, Hatter?" been back in the States by this time." "Get him to where the whisky is without deSuddenly, Jacky having done all he could to lay. That'll pull him round. Can you stand?" the wound, sprang to his feet arid plunging into Harry clutched at Joe for support and just the brush was lost to sight in an in!ltant. managed to k ee p his feet. The Hatter, from time to time, gave Harry "You take one arm, I'll take the other. Hatter, large drinks of whisky, but no improvement in we'll get him along." his condition seemed to take place. "Unless we carry him, I don't know a better "He won't last much longer," muttered the Hatway." ter. Joe and the Hatter started off with Harry, "Jacky!" :finding a t each step he took how rapidly he Joe seemed to pin his faith to the black, and was becomin g c ompl etely h e lpl e ss. B e fo r e they gave a joyful cry when he heard him coming back. reache d the c a m els t h e y had to carry him. Rose "Jacky cure him!" cried the black. and Jacky w e r e waiting their comin g Rose Without ceremony, he forced the Hatter and gave a shriek w h e n she s a w H arry borne alo ng. Joe a s ide "He's d ead! He's d ead! I knew h e 'd b e kill e d "Water!" he crie d. "Quick!" when I wis hed him good-by." "Here 'tis." "It's nothing Ro se. H e's got a scratch fro m Instantly J a ck y thre w into the glas s of -y;rater a a spear, not muc h bigger than a pin's h ead." quantity of small pink b erries, and then with a "Its the excite ment and hea t that s d o n e it," piece of wood he crus hed the b errie s s o that the said the H atte r. "A f ew d r ops :of whi sky d ow n juice might mix with the water. The fluid now his throat, and some cold wat e r on his face was quite thick, and it had a strong odor. will put him s trai g h t "Rub with this.'' s a i d the blac k h anding Joe But someh.ov; t h e Hatter's prescription did a f e w large, fiat l e a v es. not act a s it was exp ected to. Ins t ead of Harry "The w ound?" recovering h i s s ense s h e se emed to be sinking "Yes." rapidly. His e y e s w e r e closed, his face was as Then J a cky opened Harry's mouth and forced that of a cor p se, and there was a convulsive move-his teeth apart, s o that he might pour the draught ment of his limb s that was mo s t alarming down. It was done after s ome trouble, and the "Poor lad!" said the Hatter. "I don't like his change was a marvelous one. The rigor of the looks." limb s r e laxed quickly, and oon the color .of the "Oh t e ll me what I can do!" e xclaimed R ose face began to assume a natural appearance. in be;eechjng tone s. "I'd do anything to help "He's either getting b etter or dying," said the h Hatter. rm "H r "Yes, yes-I know that, my dear, and s o would e rve. ,, we a ll, but what can we do?" -.._ Gue s s you re right, J.acky. Jacky was b ending over the boy, examining "!}o s e g3;ve a sho:;t of .io;v. the wound closely. Suddenly he sprang to his m;irry s erred. "Look! He's op en feet with a shriek. The eyes of the black were mg hr s eye s starting from his head with horror. "The neilyeri!" he cried. The Hatte r turned even paler than Harry was, and hi s face looked more ghastly than Jacky's. CHAPTER XVII.-Dis covery of Gold. "Don't say that, Jacky!" he cried. "Master, Jacky a l ways tell the truth." Harry's r e covery put everybody in good spirits "What does he mean?" again. "Joe, it' bad busmess now. I n ever suspected "It's the fir s t cure I ever saw," said the Hatter. it, thougH I ought to have done so, for I know heard there was s omething that would save the horrible devices of these blacks. Joe, old a man, but never beli e ved it." fellow, I'm afraid Harry's going to leave us," "Jackv found it." said the Hatter sinking his voice to a whisper I "There's not many of those berries about,. and trembling like a leaf. "The spear was Jacky?" poisoned." "No. no


18 THE GOLD QUEEN "Then it's a miracle. Can you go on now, Harry?" "I think if you'll put me on one of the camels I'll manage to stay there." The party was on its way again in a few minutes, and Harry gradually recovered from the effects of the poison and the strong medicine that he had taken. "When do we stop?" he cried, after they had been traveling some hour s "Soon as we find a place with any water. Why d'you ask? Are you feeling sick again?" "Not a bit ofit. It's a most tremendous gnaw in11: at the stomach I have, and, by jingo! I believe I could eat a horse." Harry showed them what his appetite was when they camped. "Shall we meet anv more blacks?" asked Joe. !'Who knows? Why?" "Because, Hatter, if there's many of those poisoned spears flying about and we all get hit, I pity our stores. They won't last twenty-four hours." That night a careful watch was kept. Harry was allowed to sleep but Jacky, Joe and the Hat ter: took it in turns to do sentry duty. When morning came and nothing had been seen of the blacks they all felt that they were safe. For two days they journeyed on across burning deserts, for the most part with. huge boulders risinl!.' at intervals out of the sand. At one group of rocks a halt was made. "What's this?" cried Harry, almost imm,ediate ly, as he directed the attention of his cpmpanions to some yellow streaks running along the smooth face of an immense stone. ''Reckoh that's the yellow stuff." "Gold?" "It's so." "Hurrah! Hurrah!" shouted Harry. "What's the excitement?" "Wli.y, Hatter, .we've struck it nOV(." The Hatter smiled. "Get some of it out and let me have a look at it." Harry and Joe went. to work vigorously, but they found that with a chilled steel drill and a heavy hammer they were only able to scratch the surface IJf the rock. "Why, there's hardlv a dent in it!" cried Joe, in du s gust. "And the point of the drill flattened in the bargain." "Give it up. It's only wasting time." !:Shall we try dynamite, Hatter?" "That's worse: that's wasting precious stuff which we shall want later on when we get into the hill s where the Gold Que e n is. We couldn't do anything with this rock if you blew; great pieces off it. Where's our gold-cru shing machine?" They boys were loath to go, nor. did they until thev had made a verv close examination of every piece of s ton e in the neighborhood. Ro se who was not troubled with dreams of finding lumps of. p;old, was the onlv one who did not feel disap pointed. "I'm glad of it," she said. "You're glad," cried Joe, indignantly. "That's a nic e thing to say. P'rhaps you'll not mind tell ing us what's caused you this pleasure." "Why, your not being able to get any gold worth having." "That's cheerful." "Yes, it's better for you, boys. You see you'll never find the Gold Queen you're searchinl!.' for, and it's as well to get accustomed to these disap11ointments." "So you don't believe in the Gold Queen, Rose?" "I should think not. Do you?" "Yes," answered the Hatter, soleml'lly. "Bet your bottom dollar on that. If I ha

THE GOLD QUEEN gi::ound for the night. They found an old waterhole, and set to work to dig it put. After much labor they obtained enough water for the camels and horses. All around was a fierce, burning heat, and as the evening closed in the wind rose, \ but it brought no relief. Ever.v breath of air was intensely hot. Towards midnight a terrific glare roused the Hatter, and instantly he shook the two boys and shouted to Jacky and Rose. "It's day!" cried Harry. "Look at that red glare. What a sunrise!" "Sunrise, you call it? That's where you're wrong. Harry. It's a forest fire, and we'd better make tracks We'll be lucky if we're not all roasted alive!" CHAPTER XVIII.-ln the River. "It's fire!" gasped Joe Rice. "There's no mistake about that," answered the Hatter. "We shall die!" cried Rose, wringing her hands. "If we stav here-yes.'' J ackv and Harry Hope had made their way to the camel s and were trying thefr hardest to bring them along. But the animals were almost mad with fear, and nothing could be done with them. "They won't stir!" cried Harry. "Leave them!" "To burn?" "They are loose. Then can escape if they want to." "Come, Harry!" s houted Joe. "The fire's spread ing at a great rate. We must The horse s had vanished. The instant they had been unhitched they had started madly across the desert. The 1'bys and the rest of the party lo s t not a moment now in following their example. It was a race for life with the terrible fiery foe sweeping after them. On they ran, stopping for breath occasionally, and aghast when they saw that the flame s were overtaking them. "How long can v.ou run, Joe?" asked Harry._ "Any length-of time, but Rose?" "That's the trouble, we must carrv her. Great Scott! the forest ahead of us is on fire now.'' "This way!" shouted the Hatter, noticing the er new danger. Instantly thev altered their course, and were now running straight ahead, with the fite on two sides of them. It s eemed as if they would soo n be iD a circle of flame. "I can't go a step further. L eave "Leave vou, Rose!" cried Joe. "No, no!" Swift as thought, the Hatter bent down. Not a word did he s peak, but he took the poor: girl from the ground where she had sunk, and went forward as fast as ever, not seeming to notice the burden he bore in his arms. Ro s e had fainted, and thus was unconscious to all that went on around her. "Poor girl!" said the Hatter. "Well, it's better so. Her death will be easier.'' "Death!" "Yes Harry, that's what's in store for us. Like brave m en we'll go down fighting, but there' no other end.'' "If we reach the forest ahead we'll be safe." "It'll be on fire before we get there.'' This $!emed onlv too probable, but they never faltered. "There's a chance for us!" cried Joe. "Don't see it. ,. "Look, Harry. There's a clearing in the trees; the fire may not spread across." "It will, for sure." And so it did, but not till after a delay. Th e check the flames had received was of immense value to the fagitives, and enabled them to reach the belt of trees before they were alight. They beat their way through with the fire sweeping on s till It was s o close now that they could feel the heat, and the smoke troubled them very much. "Hark!" "I hear nothing." "It's the wood crackling." "That must be it, Joe." "No, no," said Jacky. "If you know, tell us!" cried Joe, irritably. "Water!" "Water! You're dreaming, Jacky." the Hatter, quickly, "Jacky's makmg no mistake. It's the Neve Never River.' "Then we're lost!" "No, saved.'' "But, Hatter, we can't cross it.'' "That doesn't matter. Ha! there's the water. Just in time. In with you, lads!" And as the Hatter said this he dashed into the stream and waded out until he was up to his neck in., the water. "The river stops us, lads, but it stops the fire, too. It's a case of staying where we are till it's rburnt out." . Harrv and Joe felt doubtful still as to whether they were saved. They feared the heat would be so intense that thev would be unable to endure it. They took every precaution, wetting their heads, and onlv allowing them to show above the water. "Oh, but it's hot!" said Harry. "We all die!" moaned Jacky. "We berry foolish to come Never Never Land.'' "For once, Jacky, I won't dispute your opinion.'' "Say!" shouted Joe, "this sort of thing can't go on. How d'you find yourself. Hatter? I'm a bit rare now, but, bv jingo! I'll be cooked to a turn in a few minutes." "The fire's at its worst now," answered the Hatter. "If we can hold out for half an hour l really we'll do." "Or b e done.'' Here there was a shout from Jacky "I die-I die!" he gasped. The Hatter looked grave. "It's impo s sible to stay. We'll either l1ave to roast or drown.'' "There's .iust one loophole.'' "What's that. Joe?" "You swi m, Hatter?" "Like a fish.'' "Very well; so do Harry and Jacky. We must get out from here into the stream and swim about. If we can k eep afloat long enough we'll be s aved.'' "It's clutching at a straw, as folks say, but we must trv it.'' Instantly they all made for the middle of the stream, the Hatter 'having by far the heaviest task, a s he had to keep Rose from sinking. "Where am I?" asked the girl, as she opened her eyes. The water and the movement through it revived her. In a few moment s the situation was explained. "It's good of you, Hatter, to have done so much for me. You've saved mv life. I won't give yClu any more trouble."


20 THE GOLD QUEEN To the astonishment of everybody she left the Hatter and struck out. "You can't teach me to swim," she said, with a laugh, and the way in which she went through the water soon calmed any fears her friends might have had. "But why don't we make for the other side? Try, Harry." "Just what I'm going to do." "No, no, stav here, Rose," cried Joe. "Harry will shout to us when he knows what can be done." Harry disappeared in the darkness. They all listened intently for a cry from him, and it was not long before it came. "Help! Help!" "He's in danger." "He's drowning," said Rose. "Jackv and I to the rescue," shouted Joe. "Keep Rose with you, Hatter." Jacky and Joe forced their way through the wa ter at a great rate for some time, and all the while Harry was shouting to them. "I see you.'' cried oe. In a: moment he and Jacky had secured Harry and were trying to struggle back. It was a hard fight . The current ran with great swiftness, and there were several eddies and whirlpool s which seemed to hold the swimmers in their grasp. "I knew what would happen," said the Hatter, when they reached him. "You don't s uppose I'd have stayed here if I hadn't." "Well, all right. There's no harm done." It was a relief to find thems elves on their feet again, and to be able to endure the heat without s uffering undue torture. Gradually everything cooled, and an hour after daybreak they stepped on to the bank of the stream, all charred and blackened by the fire. CHAPTER XIX.-Crossing the Never Never River. "Well, we're alive," said Joe. "We must cross the river," said Harry. "How?" "Can't say, but we must. We can't make a raft, for there's not a bit of wood to be found." "Let's walk down stream. We may find some shallow place." It was the only chance and they took it. Prog ress .was naturally slow owing to the heated state Jf the ground, and the smoke that still ro s e from the smoldering wood made traveling unpleasant. "Here's the b est dodge," said Joe, stepping into the stream. "It's cool for the fee t anyway." The others followed his example, .going' down the river, k e eping close to the bank a s the y did so. Tbe Hatter kept hi s eyes ahead of him, and presently they heard him give a shout. "Good news, lads!" he cried : "How?" "The fir e burnt itself out rtot far from here. can see the tops of the tre es." "But we can't live on leave s and wood." "You bet we can't, Joe, but where there's trees's lumber for a raft." Hurrah!" The boys went from one extreme to the other. A moment before thev were in de spair; now they seemed to think their troubles were at an end. The making of the raft was not a very easy matter. The only rope thev had was one that the Hatter had twisted around his waist. But Jacky found plenty of long, clinging plants, and these were used a s cords to hold the great pieces of wood together. Would they hold? This question presented itself as thev pushed off from shore. "We may not get to the other side," said Harry, "for the raft mav break up. Still, we can get hold of some of the wood, and it may float us across in the end." However, the raft kept together, and eventually they found themselve s on the other side of the Never Never Rivr. "Anv game about?" "What, here, Joe? Guess there's not a living thing." -"Wrong, Hatter, for once. I can see our horses!" "By gosh, it's so! How in thunder did they escape the fire? Things do look a bit roiser now." The boys and the Hatter instantly attracted the attention of the two horses, who were evidently wandering about in search of food. The poor animals came to their masters very quickly. Jacky made a rush for them. At once he produced the billy in which he made tea. Harry had set skilfully to work, with Rose's a ss istance, to build a fire. There was no lack of material, and very soon they were all sitting down to a meal of .hard crackers washed down with hot tea. When they started again, the whole of the baggage was placed on one horse, and Rose rode the other. Suddenly, as the darkness came on, they noticed Jacky was behaving in a strange manner. His eves were opened to their widest extent, hi s mouth was also open, and his hand, which trembled very much, seemed to point at some object. "She's here!" gas ped the black. "Yes I'm here, Jacky," laughed Ro se. "She will kill us." "Let her try, Jacky. I'm ready. But who is she?" "The Gold Queen." "Ha! ha! That's a great .ioke. By jingo! but there i s s omething moving, anyway. Keep quiet, lads. Have vour rifle s ready, we may want 'em." Then, while thev waited anxiously, slowly a fig ure came through the darkness toward the fire. "Who are you, speak!" thundered the Hatter. The answer was a sound something between a sigh and a moan, and at the same instant the figure, staggering forward, fell clo s e to their feet by the side of the fire. "A poor, starving black, Jacky,'' cried Harry, who was ne ares t to the new arrival and had taken a clo s e look at him. The poor fellow s eemed near his end, and it was some time before he was able to say on e word. "Listen," said Ro s e. ; "he's saying something." She put her ear clo s e to his mouth. "Go and look after the hors es, Jacky,'' said the girl, quickly, and Jackv hastened aw a y. "She's there," said the dying man-for he really was dying. "There!" He pointe d to where a range of hills had been visible whil s t it was light. "Tlie yellow w oman," said the man, with a shudder. "I saw h er." "Tell us all about it." said Joe. "Have you been searching for the Gold Queen?" "Yes ye s and I die." "Becaus e vou sought her?" "Yes. All die who find the Gold Queen. The


THE GOLD QUEEN 21 wise man of my trible said so, but I believed him not. I was proud. I said, 'I have lived much with white people. I know more than the wis!'l man. I will find the Gold Queen.' "And you found her?" "Yes, yes.'' "Where?" shrieked the Hatter. "Tell us, while :you can speak.'' Harry raised him. "She is there," he said, speaking with difficulty. "In those hills. Do not go there. Pai; the great trees, up a narrow path, under a stone archway. Mercy! Mercy! Ah!" "He is dead.'' said Harry, as he slowly laid the corpse down, whilst Ro s e covered her face with her hands and s obbed. CHAPTER XX.-A Great Discovery. By the time the poor black had been buried, the Hatter talked no more about starting for the hills. In fad, strong man though he was, he gave way at last, and was very soon fast asleep. The others lost no time in following his example. In the morning the boys were more eager than the Hat ter. His excitement had not returned. There was no difficultv in finding .the range of hills to which the dying black had pointed. It was there them. Thev hurried on toward the mountams, traveling for manv hor s, and forgetting fatigue and even hunger in their fierce desire for gold. At length they came to a place where their further progress seemed to be completely barred. In front of them was a solid wall of rock fifty feet in height, and it looked as if not even a cat could climb it. "Done! by jingo!" cried the Hatter, savagely, throwing his hat on the ground. "And all our labor for nothing.'' "No good wasting time." said Joe. "We've made a mistake, and we'll get back. The les s we talk the better.'' "Master!" It was Jackv shouting. "Wherein thunder is that nigger?" "Jacky! Jacky!" "Miss Ro se!" "This beats the deck!" cried the Hatter. "Look!" Glancing up, to their complete amazement, they saw Jackv standing at the extreme edge of the great wail of rock that towered above them. He had slipped awav without being noticed. "How did he get there?" "Can't say. One 'thing's sure, Hatter-where Jackv can go, we can.'' Jackv was waving his arms and they understood that he was indicating to them wher e the path lay. Thev lo s t no time in going in that direction. "Right, by Jupiter!" cried the Hatter. "It's the archway the dead. black told us of." "That's what it i s Now we're all safe!" The knowledge that thev were on the right trail now put heart into everyone, and as the track had become less rough, they went on rapidly. Still, evening came, and the object of their search seemed to be as far off asever. The time had come to select a camp for the night,. and they sought a sheltered spot for the purpose. The moon was ehining in all its fullness, and as the bovs and Rose reached a high platform of ea1th, the rays of the full moon fell on an object which was quite new to them. It seemed to be human in form, and its color was a dull yellow. CHAPTER XXI.-A Remarkabl; Disappearance. "The Gold Queen!" cried the two boys in tones of the greates t excitement. The Hatter came rushing up furiously. When he saw the glittering object in front of him he became speechless with astonishment. "It's she!" he cried at length. "Boys' we're made for life!" The black came along slowly, not showing any of the eagernes s that was exhibited by the rest of .the party. Suddenly, as he got near, his eyes fell on the golden image. Then he gave a piercing scream that rose wild and shrill and in an instant he had turned quicklv round and was running as if for his life. The two boys and the Hatter start, ed in hot pursuit. Rose followed after them, call ing to J ackv to come back, and thinking he might pay more attention to her than to the others. But he went on, never answering his pursuers nor stopping once to look back. "Let him go," said Joe, in disgust, as he came to a halt quite out of breath, whilst the Hatter and Harry drew up panting. "It's scared him.'' remarked the Hatter. "Well, let him be. He wouldn't be any good to us in that state.'' Slowlv they returned, meeting Rose on the way. "So he wouldn't come back, Hatter?" "No, Rose. But don't look sad. Jacky won't leave us. Anyway, he'll keep near the horses, so he'll have plenty of food." "You've jollied us enough, Rose,'' said Joe, "about our hunt for the Gold Queen. Don't you think you ouJ:{ht to beg all our pardons now?" ''.A woman never admits her mistake, Joe.'' answered Ro s e, with an air of wi s dom "You've had your answer, Joe," laughed the Hatter, loudly. "Better leave Rose alone, boys, or you'll get the worst of it.'' "Oh, I haven't finished with Rose yet," cried Joe, merrily. "And, I've a word to say, too," laughed Harry. "Better say 'em then, lads, and have done with it.'' "Well, it's just this, Hatter I want Rose to marry me." "Why, that's exactly what I was going to say,'' shouted Har ry. "I spoke fir s t, Harry.'' "What's that to do with it?" "Don't mind me, bovs," said Ro se. "Of cou rse, I've nothing to do with it. Fix it up jUst to suit yourselve s ." "Well, we can afford to marry now, Ro se. 'We're millionaires." "Where's the money?" "Why, Rose, the Gold Queen's worth--" "But where.'' cried Rose, interrupting him, "is the Gold Queen?" She stood still as she asked this significant question, and the answer she received was a deep groan from the Hatter and two furious cries of


22 THE GOLD QUEEN r rage from the boys. The Gold Queen was gone! Yes, there was no doubt of it. Fifteep. minutes CHAPTER XXII.-Capture of the Gold Queen. before thev had been looking on the object to ob-tain which they had traversed burning deserts "See!" and encountered a hundred perjls. Now they Rose's sharp eyes had detected the strange sight seemed to feel that their toil had been in vain, first, and instantly she called the attention of the for the prize, just as they thought it won, was others to it. No one spoke a word, but they kept snatched from their grasp. their looks fixed intently on what was taking "Jacky?" said Joe. place before them. A number of small creatures "What in thunder d'you mean?" were coming toward the platform of rocks-on The Hatter was very mad, or he would never which the Gold Queen been when they had have spoken in such a tone. first seen it, and as the moon was shining bright "Jacky's taken the Gold Queen." ly, everything was perfectly plain to the girl and "Absurd{" her companions. Not less than.twenty blacks were "I don't think so." in view now. The sin.l!:Ular fact about them was Joe was thoughtful a moment. that they were all dwarfs. There was not one "He had help," he said at length. that stood four feet high, and the majority were "Help," cried the Hatter, scornfully. "Where very much les s Then, when this crowd opened from? D'you think blacks drop from the clouds?" out, another body appeared. The latter w re mov "But he. may have had a friend or two dogging ing $lowly Evidently they were carrying a heavy our .path for weeks." burden. In a minute all was clear. The dwarfs "Keep your opinions, Joe. I'll keep mine." were bringing the Gold Queen back. Curiosity "P'rhaps it's the bunip,' 'suggested Rose. kept everyone silenb-. The Gold Queen was placed The bunip is a fabled creature, in whose exist-in its old position. Then, what was no doubt a e nce every black in Australia believes. It is sup-religious service began. The black dwarfs looked pose to be of a very terrible nature, half man, hideous now. They were quite naked, and they and half reptile. had white stripes painted on their bodies, giving them the appearance of being living skeletons "Keep that yarn for Jacky," said Joe, angrily. They were frightfully repulsive, with great lips "Your proposals of marriage are off, boys, now, and flat noses. Round and round the Gold Queen I suppose," said Rose, teasingly. "I can't marry they circled, moaning and chanting some words penniless bushmen." "' which were not intelligible. Presently the sounds Joe and Harry were mad now. ceased, and they formed fo order as if they were "We must find it.'' cried Joe. "I begin to be-about to parade. Whilst they were silent the 1ieve the Hatter's right about Jacky. He could Hatter slow l y uncoiled a long rope he had around never have skipped with it." his waist and began to make a loop at the end. The Hatter was busily engaged in crawling "Now for a tragedy, Rose," cried Joe, laugh-around the foot of the platform upon which the ingly. Gold Queen had been. "I hope not I don't see any signs of one." "Come here, boys." "It's on hand all the same. The rope's all His manner was mysterious and impressive, and ready and the Hatter about to hang himself." t hey both wondered what it meant. "Good-by, Hatter,'' said Harry, gravely. "There's been a lot of people here." "Can't you boys be serious? See here, one of "A lot?" you go along. You can move quicker than I can." "You bet! If you stoop, you'll see their foot"What for?" prints on the sand. "Take this rope." "Don't waste any more time. Let's make a "Oh! you've changed your You want one iO, and. having Rose them, so as to pro"Let me have it. I'm the man for the job,'' her from anv danger. ,, cried Harry, and before Joe could interfere Har-We may have to fight for our lives, whispered ry had left his friends and was crawlin11: toward Joe. ,, .,. the Gold Queen. "We for. growled the Hatter, if Joe had hi s rifle ready now to prntect H.arry in :. ou don t keep still. case he was attacked. Harry was standmg up, Not another word was spoken, and the search and even when he did so the image was some dis -,ent on. Thev followed the footprints they had tance above him, but he took the loop and threw e en until they came to some large, smooth-surit at the figure ... :iced rock s Across as was only natral, "Miss ed that time!" exclaimed the Hatter. 'rn trail was lost, and eventually it was decided "He has it!" cried Joe, excitedly. "What's the '.> turn back. -next move?" "We'll never s ee the Gold Queen again," mut"When Harrv gets back you'll see." 2red Harry, sadly. The black sentrv never stirred. Indeed, it s eem"Who knows? Tell you my idea, Hatter.'' ed as if during all this time he had been looking "Out with it, Joe. You generally have some-in a contrary direction. Harry came back in the 11ing good to give us." same way he had gone without causing the sentry "We'll stay in hiding." to ,?isturb himself. All the next dav they secreted themselves, and Now hang onto this rope, both of you," said 1en night/ came again they crept out, with anx-the Hatter. hearts, to watch till morning "What are we gomg to do?"


THE GOLD QUEEN 23 "Hang on, I say, and when I give the word, JJJJll. Are you ready?" "Yes." "Then let her ha" ve it." There was a crash, and the golden image came toppling over, falling heavily to the ground. The sentry sprang up. He was so astonished that he never uttered a cry. "He's staring at the place where the Gold Queen was," said Rose, who was watching him through the bus hes. "Pull for your lives, lad," said the Hatter. The loop that Harrv had thrown around the image held firmly, and though it was quite heavy, being a dead weight, s lowly they dragged it toward them. "One more pull!" "The Gold Queen is ours!" And as Joe said this, he and Harry drew it within the bushes behind which they were hiding. "Now keep as still as mice, and perhaps we shan't be seen." The Hatter's advice was strictly followed, for much depended on what happened during the next few minutes. Here the black sentry recovered himself. He gave a piercing cry, and in a few minutes were heard the pattering of feet and the murmur of voices. In a moment the whole band of dwarfs burs t into view. The sentry spent a few minutes in explaining events to the excited crowd and then thev came on with wild cries, brandishing their spears as they did so. They were looking in everv direction for the image. All at once they stopped, and several of them began to point to. the bushes behind which the white people were hidden. The Hatter took the bull by the horns. Without a moment's hesitation he step ped out, rifle in hand. "Glad to see vou," he said, coolly; "what's all this row about?" CHAPTER XXIIl.-Conclusion The boys thought the Hatter was he knew well what he was doing. He realized that unless he showed himself promptly the chances were that the blacks would send a shower of spears into the bus hes. The blacks were amazed when they saw this one man standing fearlessly before them, and thev seemed still more so as Joe and Harrv joined him and took up a position on either side. "What's the row?" asked the Hatte r again. One of the natives stepped forward, and held a conversation with the dwarf who see med to be the chief. The reason was apparent. He was the onlv man who understood English, and the chief had s ummoned him to act as spokesman and interJ)reter. "You have stol e n our 1!."0d," said the black. "Not a bit of it," answered the Hatter stoutly. "All we've taken" is a l!."reat piece of yellow metal worth nothinl!." to you and much to u s "That is the god we worship." "Guess you ain't the onlv folks in the world who worship the yellow stuff." "You must l!."ive it up." "I reckon not." "Then we shall take it from you." The black turned and explained to hi s tribe the nature of the talk that had taken place. 1 "The chief says," he remarked a few moments later, "that unless you give us our god he will kill vou." You tell the chief;'' cried Joe, "that we laugh at his threats. See!" Bang! For some reason or other .foe fired his rifle in the air. The black dwarfs were panicstricken, for never had they seen such a thing before. Manv of them ran away; others threw themselves on the l!."round. "That fixed them!" "Right you are, Joe! It's done the trick, I be lieve, but it was riskv all the same." "Let's clear awav with the J!."Old!" cried Harry. He and Joe rushed behind the bus hes, and came forth dragging the Gold Queen with them. The sight of their idol put courage into the black dwarfs, and instantly they recovered from the panic into which they had been thrown. "By jingo, Harry, they mean mischief!" "They look ugly." "Here!" cried Joe to ,the black interpl"eter "you give us some other gold and we'll hand back this. Have you anv more of tl:fe yellow metal?" At once a score of natives, as soor : he y understood what was wanted, hurried away, and each man, when he returned, was carrying a huge piece of pure gold with him. "Reckon we ain't rich now," said Joe. "It'll be a heavv business to carry this stuff. The sooner we make a start the better." Joe and Harry left the Gold Queen lying neg lected now, but the Hatter, whose eyes gleamed with pass ion placed himself before it. "I came here for the Gold Queen," he said fiercely. "and I swear I will have it!" Then the natives howled like madmen and massing themse lves together, they made a rus h at the Hatter and the two boys. "All over now," cried Joe. But a miracle happened. With wide staring eyes and hands dropped to their sides, the bl1J,Ck dwarfs halted. Rose Foster had come out of the bush. The behavior of the natives was extraordinary. They prostrated themselves, and crawled at the girl"s feet. Evidently, so far as they were concerned, Ro se was a strange and wonderful be ing. "You can have the Gold Qu een," said the black interpreter. "Oh! we can?" asked Joe. -"Yes." said the black .dwarf, "you can have the Gold Queen. There," h e pointed to Ro se "is our new queen, and s he will stav here and rule u s ." "vV.e cannot leave her behind," said Harry. ''.This is a case for diplomacy," observed Joe, Quietly. "Yes, he added. aloud "She shall remain with you, but you must carry the gold for u s till we reach our horses." The blacks gave a joyful shout. "And you must leave her with us till then." This was readilv assented to, and t h e whole party set off, taking with them as much gold as they could carry. Jacky was with the horses, and he started off across the rocks as soon as he saw his friends. Eventually thev induc ed him to come back. and after much talk'his terror at the sight of the Gold Queen le ssened considerably. All that dav the black dwarfs brought gold until the boys saw around them wealth to a fabulous amount. At night the dwarfs watched over Rose whom they now regarded as their queen. They


24 THE GOLD QUEEN kept at a considerable distance, 1but none of them slept. "Something's got to be done," said the Hattel'.. "We must get Rose away." "Yes, Joe, and without losing the gold." "Those black fellows won't be easy to fool. There's another thing, we can't carry the gold. Our horses couldn't take a tenth part of it. Have you thought of that, Hatter?" "Sure. We must burv the gold somewhere, get across to Coolgardie, then fit out an expedition and come back here and fetch the stuff." "I have it," cried Joe, joyfully. "I know how we can get the best of these blacks. You'll have to help in this, Rose." "I don't want to hurt them." "There's no need. We've some drugs m our stores that'll put the whole crowd to sleep Ask them to drink with you and the thing's done." The black .dwarfs were only too delighted to take the drink that Rose offered them. It con sisted of water with a little whisky in it to color it, and a strong dose of opium in liquid form. One hour after drinking it every black slept. Instantly the whole partv set to work. They carried the gold to a distance a:nd buried it in the ground. Then with Rose on one horse, the Gold Queen 011 the other, and Jacky carrying the stores, they set off. No doubt they were pursued, but they were not overtaken. After incredible hardships and adventures thev reached coolgardie, the famous gold field of West Australia. The first person they met in the town was Uncle Dave. To O"rganize an expedition and fetch the buried gold was not a difficult matter, and at its conclu sion the two boys found themselves possessed of immense wealth. Rose was then told of the terrible fate of her father' and brothers, but as she liad long suspected it, the news of their death was not such a severe blow as it otherwise would have been. She had relatives in America, and very soon set sail for San Francisco with Uncle Dave, Harry and Joe. The Hatter went back to the bush again, taking Jackv with him. It was the only kind of life for which he was suited. How evei, he will almost certainly pay a visit to ica, for Rose and the two boys have begged him to come over and see the Gold Queen. Next week's issue will contain "A POOR IRISH when one wanders in the woods. Another folk tale of the Montagnais deals with a beautiful siren. Many a hunter, according to this story, has been lured to his death by following this woman. The legends of the tribe assert also that swimmers have been drowned by an evil spirit who dwells under the "

. PLUCK AND LUCK 25 A LUCKY LAD -or-THE FORTUNE OF TOM WESLEY By R. T. BENNETT (A Serial Story) CHAPTER XXII.-The Would-Be Assasins Caught The marshal consulte his watch and saw that no passenger train stopped at that station during the night, so he hurried up to the livery stable and hired two rigs that would carry four people each and started off down to the main road, run ning parallel with the railroad. They drove hard, and when they reached the station found the freight train sidetracked there. On reaching the station the lnarshal left one of his friends in the rig to hold his team. Then he went around the freight depot and was accosted by two men, who made the inquiry as to whether he could clfrect them to where they could hire some sort of a team that would take them down to Harlem. "Well, what will you fellows pay for a team to take you down to Harlem?" "Anything within was the reply. you stand. ten dollars?" the marshal asked. "Yes, and would be glad to do it." "Well, wait here about ten or fifteen minutes and I'll get a team for you." "All right. Be quick about it." The marshal then went to where his friends were and told them he had found the men they were in search of. "Now, just two or three of us will have to do some shooting before we can make prisoners of them; but if possible, I want to capture them and take them back to Hadley without having !o do any shooting, so I will take the rig in which I drove down, and drive around to the freight depot where they are waiting for me. Now you fellows had better go around there and be on hand when I drive up. There will be seven of us in all, and just as they are climbing into the rig you fellows jump on them and disarm them, so that they can't do any shooting. Then we will tie them up hard and fast and drive back to Hadley all right." His friends said that that was just the trick to play on them, s o he mounted the seat o f the rig and drove off, leaving the other fellows to walk around to the freight depot. They reached there about the same time that the marshal did, who, when he drove up, said: "All right, gentlemen; but I had to do some pretty big talking in order to get the stableman to let me have a rig at this time. He happened to\ know me, or I couldn't have gotten it, as it is against the rules of the keeper to hire vehicles at such an. hour." "All right," said one of the men, and they started to climb up to the seat, when the marshal's friends suddenly sprang upon them in a body and bore them to the ground before they could make auy resistance. The marshal then leaped down from his seat and too k a hand in their capture. "What does tlds mean?" asked one of the prisoners. "Why "returned the sheriff, "we want that lucky dime you took from young Wesley up at Hadley." "We didn't take it," protested both of them, "for he didn't have it with him." "How do you know he didn't have it?" "Because he said that he didn't, and after searching him we found that he didn't have it on his person." "Oh, you searched him, did you?" The men refused'to answer any more questions, as they saw that they had committed themselves by what they had already said. "All right," said the marshal. "We found him lying dead on that rock, and a boy gave us a de scription of you two fellows. I am the town marshal, and I guess I'll have trouble when we get back to town with you, for all the citizens of the place will do their best to swing you up to those trees down there near the old pond. Tom Wesley was about the most popular young man in Had ley." The two villains were frightened almost out of their wits and offered everything of value they had about their persons if he would let them go, but the marshal shook his head and said that he wasn't that kind of a man; so he bound them 'hard and fast and then tied to the seat on which they were placed and drove off toward Hadley. 'rhe prisoners begged hard and made desperate efforts to get loose from their seats, but the marshal had ma,de sure in tying them that they could not make their escape. The party reached Hadley jus't as the sun was rising and of course the people there were on the lookout for them. They drove aroun\i to the Widow Wesley's place and called for Tom to come out and identify them. Tom was in bed, but he was well enough to get up and come out. When the prisoners saw him both of them gasped out: "Than k heavens!" for they 'had believed up to that time that he was dead. The prisoners were greatly relieved to find that Tom was not dead. Tom went back the house and told his mother that his two assailants had been by the town marshal, and s he ran upgtairs to .Evelyn' s room to s o inform her. The town marshal then drove around to the sheriff's home, and Tom went along with him to identify the prisoners and make the charge against them of assault, with intent to murder. Then the sheriff went to the jailer's home and orde1ed him to lock them up, saying that he would return soo n after breakfast with warrants for both of them. After breakfast Tom paid the town marshal the reward tnat he and Evelyn had promised, and out of that amount he paid off the friends who had assisted him in the capture. After that Tom went armed for the purpose of protecting himself from would-be robbers, for the


26 PLUCK AND LUCK f?rtune that had made since finding the lucky Just then a lady's voice was heard inside the dime was considered marvelous. house, saying: Tom went to the chief of police and ,put in a "That's just what I say, too," and a moment written application for the right to carry a revol-later Mrs. Crenshaw came out on the piazza, adver. The chief of police promptly granted the justing a lady's hat on her head. Jfetition, and the fact soon became known that "By George, Mr. Crenshaw, she seems to be in om Wesley had the right to carry concealed wea-the majority,'' laughed Tom . p?ns, that he would give a good account of "Oh, yes She is a match for a1w two men in rumi;:elf if attacked again. this county,'' and Mrs. Crenshaw came down It was expected, from the fact that he was the piazza and joined her husband at the gate. armed, that any but the most reckless villains Tom knew her also and promptly proceeded to would be deterred from making an attempt to rob introduce her to Evelyn, after which the two him of his lucky coin. ladies fell to talking to each other at a rapid rate. While waiting for the grand jury to meet Tom "Mr. Crenshaw, asked Tom, "have you any good one day told his mother that he was going out to Jersey cows you wish to sell?" try his lucky coin, and she wanted to know what "Yes, I have two fine ones that I will sell. They he was going to do. were raised in that pasture, and one of them "I d(}i:i't know, mother," said he, "but Evelyn yields three gallons a day, and the other three and and I will take a ride way up in the direction of a half gallons, and .each one now has her fiist Farmer Baldwin's and see what he can do for us calf, so you see that oq.e can expect them to live in the way of either a horse or a cow trade." years longer." His mother told him to be on his guard and not "Put your price on them, said Tom, "and then to let any one take advantage of him. we'll drive back down there and take a look at "Don't worry mother, I am well armed, and I them." guess that nobody would care to run the risk of Crenshaw put his price on them, and Tom said interfering with me." So he hitched up his two to Evelyn: splendid bays, and he and Miss Granger started "Won't you please get out and stay here to off up the main road to the Baldwin farm, which work a charm on Mrs. Crenshaw while I take her was about ten miles out of town. Jim and drive back down the road to see the When they had driven some five or six miles cattle?" they passed a pasture along the roadside where Evelyn laughingly, springing out of the were some four or five splendid Jersey cows rig, and walking back to the house with the grazmg. farmer's wife. "Oh, Tom," said Evelyn, "there are several of Crenshaw took a seat in the rig, and Tom drove the finest Jersey cows I think r ever saw in my down the road with him. life. Whose place is this, anyway?" Tom liked the looks of the two cows very much "I don't know,'' he replied, "but we can drive up and tried to close the trade, but <:Jrenshaw wanted to the house and make some inquiries." So they to return to the house and let his wife make the drove about a quarter of a mile further up the trade. road and stopped in front of the gate. "By Tom tried to buy the cows by offering the cash George," said he, "I believe this is Mr. Crenshaw's right on the spot,, but Crenshaw knew his wife place." So he called to a little twelve-year-old boy better than Tom did; so when they returned Tom whom he saw out in the yard, but before the boy looked at the farmer's wife and said: could answer Crenshaw himself, his father came "_Mrs. Crenshaw, you've got. your Jim well out on the piazza and sung out: tramed and no mistake." "Hello, Tom! Why don't you get out and come Why do you think so?" she asked. in." "Why, because he wouldn't sell me either one "Oh, that's you, is it, Mr. Crenshaw?" Tom of tho&e cows until you first agreed to it." Then answered. he added: "Yes." And he came down off the piazza and "Well, find out Mr. Crenshaw, if your wife will walked down to the gate. let the cows go at the price I offered you." "Say, Tom, is that Miss Granger with you Crenshaw _motioned to his wife, and they walked there'?" off ab!Jut thirty steps and had a quiet little con"Yes," he replied; and then introduced the farsultabon. er t E 1 Both Tom and Evelyn were looking on but m 0 yn. could not hear a word from that distance the conversation was carried on in such a low / tone. CRATER XXIII.-Tom Makes a Big Trade "T a E 1 om, sai ve yn, "she won't agree to it." "Mr. Cren shaw," said Tom, "I noticed some splendid jersey cows in your pasture just below here, and I want to know if they yours." "Yes, Tom, all except two, and they belong to my wife." "Well, look here," said Tom, "I've often heard that whatever a man's wife owns is his too." "Yes, that's the old saying, but it work in this case. On the contrary, I believe that whatever I own belongs to my wife, too." "Well, that is just as it ought to be,'' put in laughing merrily. How do you know, dear?" ;;From the way she shakes her head." Well, I happen to know that he is very anxious to sell, for he told Mr. Flynn at his store one day week that he had two young Jersey cows with their first calves that he wanted to sell, and Mr. Flynn told me about them. Now, the price I of is the best that he can get anywhere in this county, so I am going to give her the bluff if she refuses .to s.ell at that price," and when Crenshaw and his wife came back Crenshaw said: (To be continued)


r P LUCK A N D LUC K 27 P L UCK AND LUCK NEW YORK. MARCH 23, 1927 TERMS TO SUBSCRIBERS .Single Copies ................... Postage .l!'ree 8 cents One Copy 'l'hrt!e Months . . . . " $1.00 .One Copy Six l\Ionths........... :.i.oo .One Colly One Year .............. 4.00 Canada, $4.50; l'oreign, $5.00 HOW TO SEND M.ON.EY -At our risk send P. 0 )(oney Order, Check !l' l;tegistered Letter; remittances in any other way are at your risk. We accept J!ostage Stamps the same as cash. When sending silver wrap the Coin iu a sep11rate piece or paper to avoid cutting ";'.C:lf" your name nud address plainly. WESTBURY PUBLISHING CO., Inc. 140 Cedar Street, New York City. FRED KNJGl:l.'J', J.'r<',s. and Treas. R. \V. l\IARR, Vice-Pres. and Sec. I NTEk.t.S 'fING AK1'1CL.t:S HIGHWAY FOR CUBA A 750-mile concrete highway, costing $75,896,552, is to be built in Cuba. 1t will extend fro,.1 Guane, Pinar del Rio Province, to Santiago Cie (;uba, pi:actically the entire length of the island. A MAN'S LIFE FOR A DOG Endeavoring to save his dog from death under a Pennsylvania electric train in Atlantic City, George Kovalik, 'forty-one, was killed. As Kovalik plunged undr the gates with arms outstretched, the dog, apparently thinking it was a ran to one 1 side. The man stumbled and :fell across the rail. NEW YORK LEADS IN MOTOR VEHICLES Motor vehicles in use in the United States now exceed 22,000,000, or one to every fire persons. New York leads with 1,818,765. 'l' his State now has about half as many outdoor vehicles as all the rest of the world, aside from the United States. California is New York's closest rival, -with 1,614,479. Ohio is third, with 1,507,500; Pennsylvania fourth, with 1,483,054. Illinois, :Michigan and Texas follow. PLENTY AIR .IN BEDROOMS Bedrooms need not be very large but should have plenty of light and air, and should allow beds, dressers, chests of drawers and chairs to ;be placed without interfering with doors, win dows or heating outlets. Cross ventilation is most desirable. It is not best to have bedrooms ()pening directly into the living room. If possi ble, entrance should be from a passage or hall :way. Ample clothes closets are most necessary particularly in small houses where there is little room for storage. MONSTER SHARK TOOTH FOUND IN CALIFORNIA A shark's tooth more than twice as farge as any heretofore known to scientists was unearthed some time ago from the lime pits at Torrance, California. The tooth is five and three-fourths inches long, three inches thick at its heaviest end, and fully four inc hes wide at its base. D octor L. E. Wyman of the Muse u m o t History, after a careful examination of the tooth, declared it was the largest shark's tooth on iecord. The immensity and fighting efficiency of the shark which bore this tooth m his jaws can on l y be grasped when it is understood that a s hark has .two hundred teeth, arranged in fo u r rows on each side of the jaw and gradually tajering to tiny, daggerlike teeth. A shark which has a tooth an inch and a hal f log is considered a monster and one with a tooth two inches long can be counted .upon to be twenty-five feet in length of body. As these creatures increase in size their teeth increase proportionately. The fish which had such a tooth as that found at Torrance was at least sixty feet long, and must have ranked as a dreadnaught among the fighting monsters of the sea. Despite the passage of the thousands of years since he darted around in the :vater, his immens.e tooth, beautifully petrified, is as easy to classify as the tooth from a shark which had come to its death only recently. LAUGHS THE BATHING MASTER'S DUTIES Old Lady: Are you here to teach people to swim? Bathing Master. : No, mum'; I'm here to keep swimmers from getting drowned. A SEASIDE ROMANCE Miss Hatchetface( at the seaside): How can I ever repay you for saving my life? Gallant Rescuer: Marry somebo dy else. RURAL ADVANTAGES Stranger: understand that there has never been a cpurt case in this neighborhood. The people here must be very peaceable. 'Tain't that; but you see, Uire hves S? far away that by the time we git there we forg1t what we was quarrelin' about. NOT MERE MONEY He (bitterly): Your answer would be different if I ,-,ere rich enough to shower you with golden eagles. She : It might be different, possibly, if you should cover me so completely that I couldn't see. A GREAT HELP Jim: Say, Fred, old boy, I'm looking for som!' friend who will loan me ten dollars. Come now -can't you be of assistance? Fred: Certainly. "ThanM: you ever so much." "Yes, it's going to rain, and if you'll step over to my office, I'll lend you one of your umbrellas so you won't get wet while you're looking WHY HE WENT Employer: Yesterday you asked for a day off to get married, yet I saw you in the afternoon coming from the races. Clerk: Ye-e-s, sir. I-I was trying to wir. money enough to pay the preacher, sir.


28 PLUCK AND LUCK TWO BRA VE DEEDS In the year 1863, during the war of the rebellion, many of the ports in the Southern States were blockaded by the Federal war ve s sel s to prevent the shipp{ng of cotton and other commo dities to England, where it commanded a good price. The owners of English ships knowing the necessity of keeping well supplied with cotton in order that the home mills might not be shut down, made voyages to the South with the express purpose of running the blockade, taking in a supply of such goods as the army needed, and getting out again-with a ship load of cotton. At this juncture, during the summer of 1863, the United States frigate Georgetown, under the command of Ca]:)tain Cowles, was sent to watch the mouth of a little river below Savannah, where the contraband traffic was reputed to be rapidly increasing. On board the Georgetown was a young fellow named Jack Prince, a midshipman, and a s bright a boy a s you could wish-thoroughly devoted to his country, prompt in obedience to the orders of his superiors, and ready to seize every opportunity for advancement. Captain Cowles and his officer s had often noticed the young middy, and had been attracted by his bright and prompt attendance to duty, but upon the arrival of the frigate 9ff the coast an accident happened which brought him into greater prominence, and gave him the very opportunity for which he :had so been look ing, the chance to show him self at his be s t. The ship was rounding to, s o as to come up closer in. shore, when there came a sudden flaw of wind, there was a sharp, snapping and one of the main braces parted and flew up m the air. A young sailor lad, not old as Jack, w ascending the at that n:oment, and stepped upon the rail, whence it was ::'-n easy jump to the deck. The flyin g rope struck_ the boy on the chest, the ves s el keeled to one side, and m another moment there was a splas h in the water. "Boy overboard!" cried on e of the sailors, in lu sty tone s young Tom Hawks, and he can' t swim a stroke," added another. . Jack Prince had not waited to h ear this, b1:1t had thrown off his jacket and was overboard m an instant. One splas h followed the other in quick succe s sion, and hardly befme Tom had going down, Jack h a d s eized him and was brmg ing him to the surface. ."Don't try to grab me, my boy," he said quietly, but in a firm tone, a s they "reac h e d the a i r "It's all right. You can' t drown while I'm here, and there'll be a boat he r e presently. De s pite the f11rmalities nec e s sa1 y to be gone through with in lowering a boat from a man-o'war, the two boy s did not have to w ait long before they were taken from the water, Tom firstr and then the young middy. ,, "If you hadn't come after me when you did, said T0om, "I'd ha' been drowned, and all for not knowin' how to swim. I'll learn just as soon as I _can after this." "I did not know you could not swim, at first," said Jack. "I thought that you were hurt." "Well, I won't forget you, anyhow," muttered Tom in grateful tones. The entire party was soon on board, and Jack went below to change his wet clothing, touch ing forehead with his hand as he passed-the commander, his cap having fallen to the deck when he made his plunge. Captain Cowles said nothing to the midshipman, but when he went below, soon afterwards, he said to his first officer, Lieutenant Bruff: "Young Prince is in your watch, I believe, lieutenant?" "Yes sir." "Good sort of a fellow, is he not?" "Very capable, sir' "I may have something for him to do to-night, then," said thecaptain mus ingly. "A young fel low who will act s o promptly in time of danger is just the sort of pers on I want. "I can recommend him, sir," returned Lieutenant Bruff, "whatever the errand is." "I ain sure of that," said the commander musingly, a s he returned on deck. Shortly after this a boat came out from shore, rowed by a solitary negro, who pulled straight for the ship. The vessel was hove to, and in a few minutes the boat ran alongside and the negro said: "Tell de cap'n I done want to see him, Marse Sailorman. Captain Cowles was on the quarter-deck, and at once gave orders to have the negro taken on board. "Well, if that ain't the queerest Dick I eve:c see," muttered Jim Bight. The negro had actually gone into the cabin with the commander, much to the disgust of the sailors. However, the man remained in the cabin for some time, and whe n he came out the commander was with him. "That will be all right, and we. are much ob liged for your information," Tom Hawks heard the commander say to the man as he dropped over the side into his boat. Tom had change d his wet garments and was now on duty once mo 1 e, a s was also Jack Prince, toward whom the commander now turned a scru tinizing glance a s he ascended the quarter-deck. "Midshipman Prince!" said the captain, after a pause. "Yes sir," said J a ck, touching his cap. "As k Lieute n ant Bruff to step this way, and then com e here yourself." A few minutes afterw ard the mid shipman stood upon the quarter-deck, cap in hand, confronted by the commander and the fir s t officer. "Midshipman Pri nc e," said the captain, "I am pleas ed at y.our prompt action in saving the life of o n e o f the humblest of my crew." "I only did what I thought was right, sir," said Jack qu i etly, although he blu s hed with pleasure at this r e cognition of his act. "That's what I believe you will always do, sir, what i s right," said the captain, "and for that reason I have determined to send you upon an errand of the utmost importance this very night." Jack bowed, while his heart beat wildly at the


PLUCK AND LUCK 29 thought of at last doing something to distinguish himself. "Say nothing of this to any one," continued the commander. "When I w1:1nt you I will send for you. You may go now, sir." Just after dark he was sent for -to go into the cabin, where he found the captain and Bruff, seated before a table strewn with papers. "Mr. PFince," said the commander, "I told you this afternoon that I had business of importance for you. I will now tell you what it is. "The man who came aboard gave information of an English ship, which is going to attempt to run the blockade this very night, he thinks, with a cargo of cotton, and I mean to stop him. "I want you to take a boat and go up this river, ascertain the position of the vessel, and if her captain really means to go out to-night, and then return to the ship." "I'll do my best, sir," said Jack, feeling greatly elated at having been deemed worthy to be in trusted with so important a mission. An hour later a boat was quietly lowered from the sides, and Jack took his seat in the stern, after a picked crew had preceded him. As the men were about to take their places, Tom Hawks had slipped up to Jack and quietly said: "Can't I go, sir? You done me a good turn this afternoon, and mebby I can do you one to night. Don't say no, sir, for I'd do anything for you." -"Down vou go, _rom," said Jack, quietly. "Take your place up forward. I tbink I shall want you there." The bov quickly obeyed, and in a few minutes the boat left the ship's side and was swallowed up in the darkness, the night having grown as black as ink since Jack's interview with the captain. A thick darkness hung all about them, but Jack. had laid his course properly before setting out, and Tom was ready to give warning were any danger to arise. Suddenly the least glimmer of light was seen ahead of them-instantly disappearing. "Light ahead on the left, sir," he whisperen, and the report was sent on to Jack, who turned the boat's head a trifle and told the men to make even less noise with their oars than ljiefore, al though the sound had been scarcely perceptible. Jack had been told to look out for snags and other obstructions, and Tom, both listening and watching with every sense alert, took care to obey these in$tructions and give notice of the slightest obstacle. "Starboard, a little," he presently whispered, as a sound in the water ahead of him told him that they were approaching a rock. The boat glided -to one side of the obstruction, and then proceeded for some little time without hindrance. Suddenly, however, just as Tom gave a warn ing of a snag ahead, a light flashed out and a boat full of armed men was seen bearing down upon them, while behind could be seen the outlines of a good-sized vessel moving downstream under half sail. "There they are-don't let them get away!" cried a voice, and the men in the strange boat bent to their oars with ienewed efforts to prevent the escape of Jack and his party. Tom instantly gave a shout and sprang up in the boat, leaping overboard at the next instant. The men in the strange boat instantly fired upon him, and in the flash of light that followed his bodv was seen to sink below the surface. One of the sailors dropped his oar, dove his arm deep into the water, and seized the boy by the collar of his shirt before he had sunk beyond reach and drew his .head above the surface. "Fire!" cried Jack, divining. Tom's intention, and a vollev rang out, showing the position of the other boat and the vessel beyond. None of his men had been hit, as the young sailor had drawn all the fire upon himself, but the helmsman of the other ]}arty received a wound which caused him to lose his hold upon the tiller; and in an instant the boat was dashed against an enormous tree root protruding above the water, and was held fast. "Back oars all!" hissed Jack, and his boat at once backed away, stalwart Jim Bight lifting the unconscious Tom over the gunwale upon one of the thwarts. Mingled imprecations and cries of warning were heard from the other boat, and then came a crash for which there was but one explanation. In the confusion of the moment, the pilot on board the blockade runner had shifted his helm too much, and at the next instant the vessel had crashed into the snagged boat, crushing her to pieces and throwing her occupants into the water. In a few moments more Jack had reached the mouth of the river and sent up a rocket, indicat ing his presence to those on board the George town. The frigate quickly approached to within a safe distance, when half a dozen boats, all well manned, were lowered and sent to the aid of the young midshipman. Then a score Of torches lighted up the scene, and a descent was made upon the blockade runner, which was speedily captured, despite the resistance of her crew, many of whom finally leaped into the river and swam ashore. Tom Hawks was found to be still alive and was taken on board the frigate, where the ship's sur gPon pronounced him to be not fatally wounded, and prophesied that with care he would soon re cover. "Why did you draw the enemy's fire upon you, my boy?" asked Jack, the next morning, when the blockade runner had been towed alongside the Georgetown. "So's you wouldn't get it," replied Tom, "and so's the boys on the ship would know we was hard pressed and would come to help us. You done me a good turn yestei-day, '0.nd I told you I'd do something for you some day." Jack never forgot what Tom had done for him, and his own progress was rapid from that time until, at the close of the war, he retired with the rank of lieutenant, Tom being a boatswain, and as devoted to him as a dog . Jack has long since retired from active life, and Tom is now the captain of a merchant vessel, and in the enjoyment of a snug fortune, both being firm friends a;nd often meeting to talk over old times, and especially that adventure with the blockade runners, which bound them together as friends for the rest of their lives.


30 PLUCK AND LUCK CURRENT NEWS FROZEN LOCOMOTIVE WHISTLE SHRIEKS FOR MILES The Twentieth Century Limited, of the New York Central, westbound, from Boston, was sub.i ected to a freak of the intense cold the other d a y. The whistle of the locomotive was screeching .::ontinuous!:r as the train reached Pittsfie ld. Inquiry revealed it had been blowing all the way from Springfield, a distance of fifty-four miles, apparently frozen open. Attempts to locate the trouble here failed and the big lcicomotive plowed off into the mountains still screeching. PICTURES ARE TAKEN OF VOICE MECHANISM Photographing of the interior human voice mechanism during normal speech :ias been ac complished for the first time at Ohio Si;ate Uni versity, Columbus, Ohio, by Professor G. Oscar Russess, of the rniversity phonetics laboratory, it was revealed recently. I'rofessor Russell declared he is convinced, as a result of the first photographs,'that many previously conceived theories regarding the voice will have to be modified, if not revolutionized Un locking of 1 vocal secrets which may be expected to follow, he observed, may be felt in the radio industry, telephone, phonograph making, voice culture, teach4ig of languages, and teaching deaf mutes to speak. Y Evidence is given in the first photographs, Professor Russell declared, that the hyoid bone, at the base of the tongue, and the so-called false vocal cords, contrary to accepted belief, aid in p roducing the vowel sounds; that certain theo r ies of voice teaching have been based on false nremises, and that previous theories of what part the vocal cords play and what the function of the v ocal cavities i s must be modified. The photographs were obtained with a full ized camera, lined to a tube about the siz e of a 'ead pencil, arranged to conform to the contour 'lf the mouth, and containing mirrors lenses and 1risms and a lighting device. The tube was de rised by Professor Russ es s and the lighting was he work of Professor Raymond Weeks, of Colum' University. HUNTING MOOSE WITH A BIRCH-BARK HORN In addition to the u s ual' way of hunting game '"O rne hun ters practice a custom known a s "call: 1g." This means that the hunter, in conceal 1ent, imitates the call of the female, and his r ll usually entices the male of the species within 10oting di s tance. Certain sounds can be imitated \ ;>cally, but for most calling an instrument of 1me sort is required. There are a number of olling instruments on the market. Calling, however, is c'hiefly applied to big game, 'ld the American and Canadian hunters use a 1 ;rch-bark horn to inveigle the lordly moose into m range. At first thought it might be inferred the practice of calling is unsportsmanlike. / But, when a big bull moose looms up, almost on top of the hidden hunters he is apt to tum "rusty.'' at the sight of two humans. There are less dangerous things to encounter than the horns and hoof s of a mad moose The in strument used for calling moo s e is a strip of birch bark, rolled up into a cone like a megaphone. The best time fo r caliing is early morning or evening Windless days are best, for a bull moo s e, coming to the cal, uses his nose, and the slightest whiff of man scent drives him to seek safety. The. great art of calling is not to over-do it. .First the birch horn s ounds a seductive call of "Who-ah! Who-ah!" into the stilness; then the bull answers with a deep-toned "Bwa-bwa-bwa." Next there is a period of silence, followed only by the sound of breaking brush. After twenty minutes another call i s sounded. Still the bull does not show himself, but two hundred yards off the brush rattles. Then the hunter fills the horn with water from the pool his hiding place and lets it trickle back with a slight splashing sound. This turns the trick; out comes the moose, a bunclred and fifty yards or so away, and up goes the hunter's rifle. / RATTLER BESTS BULL SNAKE A novel sporting event was some time ago staged at Kendrick, Idaho, an encounter between a rattler and a bull s nake. For months Kendrick men have been disputing as to which could win. The interes t was started by the report of some section men on the Northern Pacific who told of seeing a b attle to the death betwe e n two large snakes of these breeds in which the bull snake won by crushing the rattler to death. Backers of the rattler challenged the supporters of the bull : Men were sent into the country to secure the snakes Two bulls, one about three fee t lon g and the other six feet long, were se cured, togethe r with a three-foot rattler. A ring was formed outs ide the town, and the men took the snakes to the place for the contest. The rattler was depo sited into the ring, and it promptly coiled prepared to strike. The smailer bull snake was then turned into the ring and s hooed" towar d the i attler. The spectators crane d their neck s The bull snake crawled up to its antagonist, and the rattlesnake evinced every sign o f b eing deli ghted with his company. The two snuggled up together like two lost friends. The c r owd._ was di sgus ted. The bi g bull s n a k e was then intr oduced into the arena, and the attitude of the rattler changed from the frie ndlin e s s s hown toward the smaller bull snake t o one o f v enoy. His forked tongue shot out, and hi s h e a d bobb e d from s ide to side. The big bull approa ched, an d the excitement grew mtens e. When the big bull snake got within striking distance of the rattler the latter struck viciously, burying his fangs in the thick flesh of the bull snake. The bull 1etreated. He was driven back. to the rattler, which again sank his fangs, bringing lJlood, but the bull snake would not fight. The rattler was killed by the men. and the bull snakes were released.


.. PLUCK AND LUCK 31 TIMELY TOPICS .. ELECTRICITY TO WARM FEET OF BERLIN TRAFFIC OFFICEI.S There will be no more cold feet for Berlin traffic cops this winter if a system of artificial hot bags at street intersec_tions find general adoption. The scheme consists of installing electric heating devices in the heavy glass-in_cased safety islands upon which cops stand durmg the day and which are illuminated from the inside with red lights at night. Traffi c officers at the few intersections where the device is in use are pleased with the idea. They say it is like standing on top of a warm stove. SURVIVES SNAKE TEST, BUT NOT POISON While conducting a series of religious meetings at Pagoda, Texas, George Bishop, a preacher of an unusual sect, seized a rattlesnake and wrapped it around his body as evidence of his belief that no harm could come to one who had absolute faith in the Creator. The snake did him no injury. A Texas bov in the cangreJ!;ahon who had seen rattlesnakes many times was not satisfied with the test. In order to try further the alleged immunity of the preacher the boy handed him a vial of poison, telling him what it was. Bishop drank the poison and died in a few minutes. UTAH'S LOFTY MOUNTAINS The State of Utah has many lofty mountain peaks, and six of them, according to a recent re port of the United States geological survey, rise more than thirteen thousand feet above sea level, and nearly sixty .mountain peaks i:o the State rise above twelve thousand feet. King's Peak is the highest mountain in Utah, and it has an elevation of thirteen thousand four hundred and ninety-eight fo et. Mount Emmons and Gilbert Peak are the next highest mountain elevations, reaching altitudes of thirteen thousand four hundred and twenty-two feet, respectively. "OUR FRIEND; THE SNAKE" In a report made some time ago by Doctor Ditmars, of the Bronx Zoo, New York City, there are some very interesting facts' )Jout the snake which are worth remembering by '.;hose of us who are inclined to look upon this reptile as a detriment. Loctor Ditmars say::; the snake is an asset, and a decidedly valuable one. Of course there are many kinds of snakes, poisonous and non-poisonous. In the united States -the poisonous species are to be found in every State in the Union, the rattlesnake and the copperhead being the most deadly. Though it is generally thought that the dangerous part of the T poisonous snake is the forked tongue, the tongue has nothing at all to do with the poison. The fangs, which are up against the roof of the mouth and folded back when not being used, the poison. It is interesting to know that there are on the average just two fatal snake bites a year in the United States, and that no snake bite, if treated in time, need prove fatal. This been very definitely in South America, in Africa, and in India, where serums and antitoxins, the result of comparatively recent experiments, are saving thousands of lives each year. In these countries the death toll from snake bite is high, but it is hoped that within the next fevt years it will be materially lowered, and that within ten years it will approach our own level of fatalities. Of the non poisonous snakes, the so-called king snake should be regarded as one of man's best friends. Not only does it destroy poisonous snakes remaining immune from the poison itself, but it destroys rodents as well. In the United States alone two hundred million dollars' worth of com mod:lties are destroyed annually by rats. Then there is the deadly bubonic pla.l!:lle, which can be carried onlv by rats. To save this enormous loss of commodities, and to prevent the spread of dis ease, the rat must be wiped out, and nothing is better for the purpose than certain types of the non poisonous snakes. It is a national duty to .protect the snakes whicl'\ are nonpoisonous and destroyers of rats. If necessary, we should have legi slation, as there now is in India and South America, for the protection of these friends of man. THE WAR ON WOLVES AND COYOTES Although the coyote, tli'e small cousin to the huge timber wolf, still makes its mournful cries echo across the prairie, its bigger cousin is growing less plentiful. For some time the government has been wa:ging war on these night prowlers, saving thousands of dollars to stockmen. The wolf has a great deal of cunning and matches his wits against that of man. It learns from experience. If one of the pack is found dead from poiso ning the rest realize that a piece of meat left temptingly near had the deadly stuff -arsenic usually-in it, and the next piece of meat lying on the grourid is passed by. But the man enemy is a match for this; he goes one better, and next places bait on a log with a trap con cealed near by. And the wolf gets caught in this. Some of the individual wolves in the Oregon forests have attained such a reputation for cunning that they have acquired the dignity of a name; apparently they defy all measures taken for their capture. They knew that a restrained appetite goes a long way to insuring safety. But the government's exterminators have studied all the habits of these wolves and can trace and kill particular animals. A wolf which had been a resident of the vicinity of Custer, South Dakota, for six or seven years had killed during that time as much as twentyfive thousand dollars' worth of .cattle. He wasn't clever enough to evade the man enemy forever, and a lucky shot finished his marauding days. When jn a tight hole a wolf will run out into the open to escape. A coyote will not do this. It trusts to its color to keep its hiding place a secre t. The wolf has no faith in color.


OUR TEN-CENT HAND BOOKS Useful, I n structive, and Amusing. They conta i n Val u able I n formation on A lmost Every Subject. No. 1. NAPOLEON'S ORACULUlll AND DREAM lJOOK.-Contalnlng the great oracle of human destiny, also the true meaning of almost any kind of dreams together with charms. ceremonies and curious games of cards. No. HOW TO DO TRJCKS.-Tbe great book Of magic and card tricks. contitinlng full Instructions on nil lead.Ing card tricks of the day, also the most popular maglcal illusions as performed by our IPndfng magicians: every boy sliould ohtaln a copy of this book. No. s. HOW TO FLJBT.-The arts and wiles of flirtation are fully explained by this little hook. Be sides the variomt methods of hnndkerc'hlef. fan. glove. parasol. window and hat fll-rtatlon. It routalns a full list of the lan1?11Rl?P and SPntlm<>nt of flowers. No. 8. HOW TO BECOME A SCIBNTTST.-A nseful and Instructive book. idvlug a complPte treatise on chemistry: also experiments In acoustics, mechanics, mathematics. chemistry, and dlr<>ctlons for making fireworJrs. color<>if flres. and gas balloons. No. 9. HOW TO BECOME A VENTRTLOQUTST.-Bv Harry Kennedy. Every futellll?Pnt boy rending this book of can mnstf'r the Art. nnd create any amount of fun for hlmPlf Anit frlenits. No. 10. HOW TO BOX.-Tbe art of self-defenP maite Pflsy. Containing over thirty Illustrations of guards, blows, nnit the dift'erent positions of a good boxer. Every bov hould obtain one of these useful and instructive books. as it will teach you how to box without an Instructor. No. 11. HOW TO WRITE LOVE-LETTERS.-A most complete llttle book. containing full directions for writ ing love-letters, and when to use them, giving specimen letters for young nnd old. No. HOW TO DO TT: OR. BOOK Oli' ETJ QUETTE.-It ls a great life end one tb11t every young men desires to know all about. Thet'l!'s happineRa In it. No. llS. HOW TO BECOME RTCH.-'I'hla wonif P.rf11t book preseQts you with the Pxamplp nnit life PxpPrlence of some or the mo.t notPd ancl wenlth:v men in the w qrld. For those who MnlrP to fame ond fortune, this bo'Ok will glvP you the /lf'Cret. Nn. 16. R O W TO KEEP A WTNTIOW GARTil':N.Conta!nlntr fnll Instructions for constructing a window garden elthn In town or countrv. nnit the most ap proved method for rnlln'tr h<>nutlfnl flowers At home. No. 17. HOW TO DRll:i"S.-Contnlnlng fnll instruc tion in thP art of dressinl? Ancl appearing WPll Rt homA and abroad. giving thP sPlP!'tions of colors. material, and bow to have thPm madP UP. No. lR. HOW TO Blr.f'OM'"F, Rl':AUTTli'UL.-One of the brigbtPt nnd most valnhlp little books evpr given to fbP world Evf'rvbody wihP to know how to become henutlfnl, hoth mnlp M>d fPmAlf' No. 29. HOW TO BEC01\ffi AN TNV'ENTOR.-11Jvprv hodv hould know bow invPntlon orl1?inAtPit 'l'hla book "XPlAlns thf'm All, giving exAmnl<> In el<>ctricltv, hyilrAUli<'a. ma1?nPtlam ontlrs. nnPumatica. m f'<'hRnl<'s. etc. No. so. HOW TO COOK.-One of the mot Instructive hooks on-cookinl? ever puhliRhf'il Tt contain rerines for cooking mPats. fl sh. gRme. nnd oysters: also pies. nnitdlngs. cakP and all kinds of pastry, and a grand roll Pcttn n of rP!'inPs. Nn. S7. HOW TO KEEP HO'PSE.-lt contnln lnfor"1tlon for evervboity. bov. girh. men and womf'n: It will tPnch von how to makf' almost nnvtbing aro11nd hf' hnuRP, s11ch Tl/lrlor ornnment. braC'k PtR. cements, .\Pnlinn barn. nnif birif limP fnr <'tcbinl? hlrda. No. 'ffOW TO B1':'101\fF. vorm OWN Tifl(]TOR.\ wnndPrfnl hook. rnntaininl? nPfnl nnd nrn!'tirnl Info,.. '11Rtinn In tbP trpatmPnt of ordinnrv diPRRPR and alln1Pnt Mmmon to PVPrv fnmilv. A bom;tlng In useful nnr1 PfTP<:'tfvP J"Pf"inpq for C!'PTIPrnl romnlnintc:i. No. HO' W TO l\IAlH'l ANn Sl':T TRAP"l.-Inrlrnl'n f! on how to catch mol<>s. wf'asPlR. ottPrR. rats, rrnlrrPl nnd birits. Also bow to curP skin s. Copfo11sl 'lhiotrntPd. -Nn. 41. TTTE BOVR OF NF.W VOR'lt ENll MEN'!'! TOKE nOOTC.-f'nntaininf! a f!J"!'at v>1rlPty of the lntest lH:{{l'{t bv thP moi;::t 1'nm8 In the Phantom City; or, 'l'he Adventures of Dick: Daunt l491l 'l'he l\1"it MArom; or, Th,e Boy Castaways or the Malay Islands. 1500 J,ittle C loud, the Boy Indian Chief. 1501 Nobody's Son; or, The Strange l<'ortunes of a :;;mart Boy 1502 ShorP J ,ine Sam. the Young Southern Engineer; or, Railroacling in Wnr Times. For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to an;y address on recelvt of price, 8c. per covy, in mone;y or postage stamps. WESTBURY PUBLISHING CO., Inc. 140 Cedar Street New York City


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