The prairie ranch, or, The young cattle herders

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The prairie ranch, or, The young cattle herders

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The prairie ranch, or, The young cattle herders
Series Title:
Beadle’s Boy’s Library of Sport, Story and Adventure
Joseph E. Badger, Jr.
Place of Publication:
New York
M.J. Ivers & Co.
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (29 pages)


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Sports stories -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Adventure stories ( lcsh )
Boys ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )


Original Version:
Volume 1, Number 8

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
B35-00013 ( USFLDC DOI )
b35.13 ( USFLDC Handle )
032678769 ( ALEPH )
07390590 ( OCLC )

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Copyright, 1884, by Bead l e & Adams. Entered at Post Office, N e w Y o r k N.Y., as second c l ass matter. F e b. 26, 1899. No. 8 . r Pub l ishe d Everv Week. M .f. IVERS & CO., Publis h er., 3'9 Pearl S rreet Ne w Y o r k Price 5 Cen t s. S2 50 a Year Vol. I. TH. E PRAIRIE""BANlflJ, Or THE YOUNG _______ .....,. _____ ,;;;;,,;;;o,;=m...;;u.......,n..,., CATTLE HERDERS! BY JOSEPH E. BADGER,


Co p y right, l"'Si, b y Bt:ad. l e & Adams. EnLe red a t Post omce New York N.Y., as secon d class mattt!: r Feb. 26, 1899 .. No. 8. Published E ve 1 y lVeek. !U. J. IVERS & CO., Publis h ers, (James Su1llvan, P roprietor,) 379 l'eal"I Stt"ee t York. Price 5 Cen ts. V I I $2.50 a Y ear. 0 THE PRAIRIE RANGH; \ ( ('. ( ( BY JOSEPH E. BADGER, JR. D lil!!''T LOW IN THE SADDLE, llLIJ[ING A SURE GRAS P A T THE LAD'S BELT. AND T HEN, WITH A BUPERBUllAN EPll'Oftt ROBE ERECT, BEARING WITH Blll BIS COUSIN THUS DUTROUS LY S NATCHED FRO>! ALMOST CERTAIN DEATH.


The Prairie Ranch. The Prairie Ranch; OJl., fhe Y Jung Cattle Herders. BY JOS. E. BA.DGER, JR. CHAPTER L TlIE STOCK FARM. WHAT Uhder the sun!" With wl.icb exclamation the two lads sat bolt upright in bed, staring blankly at the nar row, barre( window, through which came the diabolical alarum that had so unceremoniously cut short tl eir sweet sleep. A hoars e discordant braying-a setiAs of ex plosive grunts and snorts, the like of which n either oft le "city boys had ever heard be fore; then the huge, crooked cows-horn was ad a r ound, good -natured face was visi ble at ti e glassless opening. "Turn C'lt, boysl don t you hear the break fast bell?" r 11d once more the battered old horn Bent forth t. trump that might have roused the dead. There w s ; no more thought of sleep. The day was da .vning Time was precious. There was so muc l to see and do. In l ess than five minutes the two brothers were dress e d and fol lowing thei cousin Walt into the eating-room. As they b r akfast, a word or two as to who they are an l what they l ook like. Walter E the eldest, is the only son of one of the : stock growers in Colorado. His mother died within a year of bis birth, and since then-now nearly twoscore years-the foot of a wl ite woman-bas never crossed that threshold People call Frank Harvey a misogy nist, becaus be will not take another woman to fill the pl ice left vacant by bis i dolized wife. Outwardly ie ts cold and stern, but his heart is as sore ar ,'\ tender as it was that day so long ago, when J:s laid his fair young wife beneath the sod 0 tly Walt knows what a wealth of love is hidd< n beneat h that cold exterior, and be is proud lf his father as the fatjler is of his son. Tall, stout built, yet active as a panther, is a pr J ficient in every manly sport and accomplishn .ent of the plains; h as bad a good common sch lo l education; is fairly good-look ing, and has n bold, manly carriage, learned in Nature's sch >ol. Arthur a I d Ross Duncan are brothers, who have come to spend the autumn and wit b their C 1usin. They are fair specimens of city youth, >.nchboug h this is tbeir first vi sit west of tb their greennes s will quickly van. s h before the rough breath of experience. There is true metal in them and Walt Harvey Is just the boy to brtng It out. They had arrived at the ranch near tba mid dle ot the night before, after a long and weari some ride behind a mule t eam which conveyed their baggage, and with a brief greeting, had tuml.led foto boo, nor moved a limb unt h aroused by the unearthly serenade at their window. Hence all was new and strange to them this morning, and everything was eyed with interest. The long, low-ceiled room, with its mud colored walls and fioor; the clothless table of elbow-polished oak; the rude benches which ran along the sides of the board and served as chairs; the Mexican man-cook; the manifold wagons and articles of horse furniture banging up on the walls-ail had their turn of curiow "Enten enough!" asked Walt, as the brother re.fu sed a fresh s upply. "Ali right; we'll g<> and take a look at the colts. I picked ont a dozen or so, au' d put the.n in the little corral, whe r e they'll be bandy. You ean look them over and take your choice. You ll need a geod, tough horse to carry you through tomorrow." There, we are in time!" exclaimed Ross "Art, here, would have it that :!\'& were too late." "So you would bavo been, only I insisted on ke eping one herd for your especial benefit," laughed Walt. "The rodea, as we call it, Mexican fas hion, began yesterday, and will be about wound up to day. 1 knew you wofild be too til'ed for much bard work this morning, and you will be all tbe better prepared to enjoy the fun, if you get thoroughly acquainted with your nags to-day." While speaking Walt led the way to a.sma ll inclo sure formed of stout rails, and lettiu& down the bars, m otione d his cousins to enier, himself following them. "A neat lot, if I do say it," and Walt nodded approvingly as the high-spiri ted colts retreated as far as the fence would allow, then fac e d the intruders, snorting and pawing the'grouud as in defiance. "Any one of them will do his mile in three minutes, fresh from the grass Look there once, and take your choice. I'll stir them up. In silence the brothers watched the noble animals as they rushe d to and fro at the crack of Harvey's whip. A choice was indeed diffi cult, but Arthur s3lected a dappleJ gray, and Ross chose a jetty black. "All right I" Walt. "No w, we'll see bow they perform under the s addle. Come to the stable aud have a look at the furni ture. You'll finj it a little dU?ereut from that in use down your way." For the first time in their lives the brothers


'l'he Prairie Ranch. looted upon a genuine Mexican or Californian &addle, a startling contrast to the tlat, Eaglish addle upon which they had learned to ride. The pommel was si% inchea above the seat, and BDrmounted by a !lat, circular disk. three Inches in diameter. The cantle was nearly as high. The saddle-tree was heavy and stout, covered with tightly-stretched raw-hide. Over this was slipped a huge cover of sole -leather, beautifully stamped in red and black, and richly ornament-ad with silver-headed nails. The stirrups were oblong blocks of wood, about llix inches by four, and three in thickness. Over these hung stamped leather tappadoea, to protect the feet from mud and thorns. The whole affair would weigh from twenty-five to thirty pouuds. The bridle was no Jess a curiosity to the boys. The head-stall was all of braided horseJmi.r. The bit was without a joint, and in the .inter was doubled back so as to form a Jong letter U. A ball-circ le of iron was fastened to the arms of the bit, which closely encircled the 2ower jaw of the horse. The ends of the bit drop several inches below the nose of the horse, and a light but stout steel chain, which serve! for reins, is secured to each end. By pulling upon the reins, the doubled portion of the bit forces the mouth of the horse open. While the Iron ring compress e s its lower jaw, so that with little exertion a rider can break his horse's jaw. "Tnat is the principal thing for you to bear in mind," added Walt. "You must ride with a light hand. The faintest preasure will stop a bridle-wise horse-if you pull too hard, he will throw himself over backward, running the risk of breaking his own and your nec:k to save his jaw." "I don't see why you use such cruel jaw breakers, then," observed Arthur. It's mostly habit, I supix-. A common curb-bit would almost always serve the pur pose. Come on, I am going to rope your horses. I want you to see how we fasten on the saddle." lllipped the end of a strap through the ring, then through a smaller ring attached to the Baddie, repeating the act until the strap wa1 three double. He drew the cincho a1 tight a1 he could, then passed the end of the strap through the upper ring, from the i'Jl.Bide, upon the right hand. Next he passed the strap un der the ring, from the O'Utside, on the kft hand, passing the loose end through the loop thus formed and drawing it tight. With this ffis. tening, the girth cannot give or become loose, since the greater the strain upon it the tighter the knot is drawn. Blippuig on the bridle, Walt vaulted into the saddle without touching the stirrup. The bridle chains bung loose, and he put the gray through its paces by the pressure of his k n e e s, the swaying of bis body and an occasional word of command. "He is perfect--take my place, Art, said Walt, dismounting. ".Mind-e. light hand and a firm seat." Arthur mounted, but could not adjust bis feet to suit him. Ile looked toward Walt, who was smothering a laugh. "I knew you would find it out for yourself. Right there lies the great differ.,nce between an English saddle and ours. You sit 1lpon a fiat saddle, while you sit in ours. Y 011 are used to ride with stirrups hung three inches before the cente r of your saddle, while these are hung precisely in the middle. If you ride a !lat saddle, and your horse gives an unexpected side leap, you cannot help lming your balance, to a c e rtlrin degree, becau s e your only braces you against a forward leap. With this, you are guarded against every sho ck, expected or not. Straighten your legs, just as though you were &tending upon solid ground so I" By closely following their cousin's the brothers, long before noon, felt perfectly at home in the new saddle, and expressed themselvea ready for the next day's work. They were just leaving the stable. for din nar, when there came the rapid clatter of. hoofs, then a wild ringing yell "Hurral now you wUl Eee smpe fun!" cried Walt, his eyes 11parkling. "That's the buckarol" Walt entered the corral and quickly 11epa. rated the dapple-gray from the res t and lassoed it. The moment the noose closed around its neck, the creature, from appearing the wildest of the wild, became as staid and quiet as an old CHAPTER IL hack. THB "BUOKABO." "He hasn't forgotten the lesson I gave him thia last spring," smiled Walt. "It cost me WONDERING who or what the "buckaro" fuil half a day to break him in, but I didn't becould be, Arthur and Ross Duncan followed grudge the trouble." the eager steps of their cousin from the stable Leading the horse outside, be placed 11 soft to the front entrance of the long, low, rambl ing shee p skin upon its back, then flung on tb!l sad-ranch. It must be something far beyocu the die. ginh was of horse-hair, a foot wide, ordinary run of things that so excited Wall and three feet long, with a stout iron ring ill Harvey. either end, one of which was already fastened ''There! that's him-and you can't find hb So a stout strap. Raising the free end of the equal between the two oceans I" muttered Wal' sirtb, or cincho, it the local name, Walt his eyee with enthusiasm.


.. 'l'be Prairie Ranch. A ftne-1oo\:lng black mustang, dripping wftb perspiratio[l stood berore the door. lts rider 1at with O ' leg thrown carelessly overthe high pom rr ii, lighting a C'igarl'o at a coal hand ed him o y t;;:ie obsequio1Jsly bowing Mexi can cook. dasbin g, debonair looking fell ow, whose gam 7 dress well matd.1ed his lithe, graceful ft;; tre-g raceful anllow play leap-fr > g from the saddle. .Just as tt o ugh the blac k mustang heard and ; his whisp ered wish, it gave a sudoi".il sidelont, leap, foll0wed up by a swift suc eersion of perpendicular jumps and furious plunges suc.:t as few horsemen could bave sue cessfully ha '.fle d. Walt lau triumphantly. The brothers &tared in sp iech les s amazement. The rider actually appeared uncorlscious that his hone wis doing anything out of the way. Only one f -0t rested in the stirr'up, the other leg throwl! carelessl y around the pommel. The bridle c:bains were untouched. His whole mind was apparently given to the proper lighting o l his cigar. The wild, eccentric c" vorting ct bis horse did not stir his seat a hair's-breadth, more than if be had b ee n glued Into the sad d le. It was a splendid exhibition of skill, all ;he more impressive from its being, apparently, wholly unmeditated. Satisfied Yith his light, the horseman flung aside the wal, and then, seemingly, became aware of presence of the three young men for thn time. Swift as thought, his riflht root 1mught the stirrup, and the black mustang stood before the cousins motionless, as though cast in bronze while the rider doffed his broad oombrero and bowed low in the 1111.ddle. "Glad to see you, Pedrillo," cried Walt, clasping the long brown hand in his own. Been expootlng you for two hours and more. Better late than never, though." "I bad to ride over to Senor Gordon's thia morning; that made me late," w11s the response, in a 1-w, but remarkably clear and musical, ti ce. You have a little job for me I" "A big j nb, rather,' laughed Walt. "If you do it in less t hlln tbree hours, you can take my bat. 'Light, and turn .your horse t-0 the fodder; We'll have t1 bite of dinner before tackling old Man-eater. While the Mexican-for suc h was Pedrillowa11 fotlow! n g bfa advice, Walt gave his cousins a b,ief and hasty explanation. 't'he buckaro is a prof11ssional horse-breaker, puerally a Mexican or Texan. His principal business is breaking and trttfnfn!l: wild and UD ruly animals for the less s kltlful or more bu1y among the stock-raisers and traders. There i9 no animal so wild and vicious tbat he dare not mount it, and once mounted, the creature mhst yi e ld or die. Another branc h of his trade is the picking up of unruly horse s o r pouhis, at a mere .ly nominal price, to be broken, carefully train ed, and then sold at a profi t able figure. The fmcJcaro is a kiug of the saddle in more senses th!in one. He is welcome whel'ever he goes, and a favorite with all, rich and poor. He is the postman and news-carrier of the vast cattle-ranges. Ped.Jillo did not appear to as good advantage upon foot as in the saddle. Constant rldlug, al most fro.m birth, had and bowed his le gs. His walk was a shuffl i ng shamble, like one juStrecovering from a slight touch of paralysis. But this dtd not l essen the admil'at i on of the comius. His every word was listened to with respect and his wants at the table carefully anticipated. His dress was that peculiar to his J.ieople, only more costly than the generality, tor Pedrillo had made a fortune in h i s business, and tbe bank ot a Mexican is his back and belly. A glazed, gold banded sombrero; an embroidered and spangled jacket of rich crimson velvet, open from the throat and barely reaching his waist; two shirts, the rnner of the finest muslin, the other of sky blue silk, both richl y embroidered; a china crape sash around bis middle, knotted at the right side, and supporting a long, slender knife and brace of pistols; scarlet velveteen breeches with of gold and silver; heavy Texan of buckskio, thickly wrapped tightly around the l egs and tied with a thong just be low the knee, not buttoned; short boots of stamped leather; huge spurs with rowels over three inches in diameter. A long, narrow l:ace of the color of smoked deep-set eyes; long, thin nose; a straight 'Slit for a mouth; a long but sparse pair of mustaches and pointed beard; combine thP&e items, and you Pedrillo, the famou1 lnUJkaro. Immediately after dinner Walt led the way to a small corral, the walls of which were of unusual bight and strength. There was but one animal inside-a large, magnificentlyformed iron-gray stallion, that constantly circle d rouud the fence as though sooking an opening for 09. 1:11pe. "He keeps that up night and day," began Walt, when, as though infuriated by the sound of his voice, the stallion flung itself against the fence, pawing and striking with it.s hoofs, screaming most viciously. "I'll need both saddle and bridle to tame him," waa the quiet remark made by Pedrillo. We'll need three lassoes besides mine. n


The Ranch. a "All right. I kept one man besides the cook. Com along boys. You'll see more of the fun o n horseback." By the time Arthur and Ross had their mus tangs saddl e d and bridled, all was in readin ess for the battle of man against horse. Walt stood by the bars of the c orral, read y to let them down and give the wild stalli o n egress. Twenty yards b e yond, P e drillo was waiting; further on were his two assistants. Pedrillo nodded. Walt filing down the thr ee upoer bars, then into the saddle, barely In i.ime With a wild, piercing scream, the stallion cl eared the remaining bars, but ere be could taste the sweets of libertv the snake like c o ils of Pedrillo's lasso settled over h i s head ; a vi cio u s pluck -and the desert king was throwll u pon bis back in the dus t. A t the same instan t Walt and the s ervants spurred forward and made their Cll St s. la...."80 closed around a leg, and bei n g draw n taut, the horse was unable even to strug gle D ismounting, Pedrillo caught up the extra 18.ddle and bridle which lay in readiness, and a pproached the fallen king. At a si gn, his w ell trained mustang leaned hard again s t the lasso, forcing the stallion to o pe n his mouth to escape suffocation. With swift d extArity Pedrillo inserted the bit and buckled the heal stall the n wound bis sash tightly a.round the animal' s eyes. Wavin g bis h and, the lassoes were gradually slack e n e d, and t h e blinded stallion struggled to his fee t. With some difficulty the saddle was s t r ap ped upon the anima l s back, a n d P illo 1pnmg lightly into his seat. The thre e m e n .tlosed in, and their slack e n e d l ass o e s w ere quickly kicked off by the .,prancing sta llion. 'Walt loosened the lasso from tho sad dl e o f Pe drill o's horse, and the buckaro drew this in, fastening the loose end around bis waist. All being in readiness, he tore off the blinding sa sh. The stallion crouched low to the gro und, with a shrill scream-then the air seem e d full of flying hoofs and gleaming t e eth. But Pe drillo met each attempt at biting with a h eavy kic k until the animal' s mouth was cov ered wit h b lood. Baffled in this, the stallion flung i tself u po n one side, rolling over and over, but Pe d rillo was not to be caught napping, and the moment the mad beast a.rose, he was settled fir mly in the saddle. With an almost human scrl!(.m of rag e, the llta.llio n wheeled and sped toward the fence of the corral no doubt hoping to free itself '!>Y crushing its rider against the heavy rails. Then the b r others were given a. proof of the terrible po wers of the Mexican bit. 'i'lle buckaro gave a short, sharp jerk. The ltallion reered upright, then, madly pawing the air, f ell heavily o ver backward. The Mexican, eat-like, aliihted u pon his feet, Clear ot the falltng animal. For nearly a minute the crea ture lay tre mbling, the breath driven from ite body by the terrible shock, but the moment it scrambled to its feet the buckaro 1ras in the sud d l e Thus far, Pedrlllo had contented b l mself wit h baffling the struggles of the sta.llior, but now his tactic s changed. Spurs and lass< were used fre el y the rawhide coils falling in swiftly g ucceeding blows. The bor H e plunge d furiously here and there, its cbangEs b e fng so rapid that the eye could scarcely follow them. Twi c e the animal was thrown upon tts back by m e ans of the jaw-breaking bit, yet no sooner did it arise than the fierce conte::t was renewed with unabated fury. But. after nearly an hour of this hot work, the stalli o n gave I\ pi ercing scream 1.nd darted a.way ov11r the plain like an arrow : xesh from i t s bow. "It's all r 'ght now!" exclaimed -/Valt, with a long bre ath. "That's the b eg inn l ng of the end. The brute will run until it Jails, either dea d or thorou ghly broken." "It was exciting to look at," ea d Arthur, thou ghtfully, but it is barbarous, \fter all." "But it's the only way an aged h irse can be thor o u ghly without a gres; waste of time. Comel!et's take a breathe1 over the prairie." CHAPTER IIL THE RODEA. LoNG before tbA stars w ere thr01 : g b twink ling, Arthur and Ross Duncan were a"'akened by a r epetition of the disagree able serenade with which their first day at the stock-farm had been ushered in. And then the cheery voice of Welt Harvey c 1 ied aloud: "Tumble out, boys! There' s jn; t time to swallow a bit and sup before we m u st take aaddle.'' No more was needeO.. The brothe rs jumped out of bed and into their clothes, through the eating-room and out into the cool frosty air wh<'re c o usin Walt was breaking the ic e an d dippi u g water from a huge barrel irto the two horse-buckets which he set before the boys, say ing: Ram your bead and arms into that. It's the o nly medicine we need or u ; e on tw ranch." O b e d ience required no little cou ra ge on that cold, frosty morning, but the boys b : d resolved to do as those around them did, let t he cost be what it might, and after the first icy sbock, they fe l t fairly grateful to Walt. It was a s though fre sh blood bad been infus H l into tbeit veins They were full ot life and a.II a g l o w from head to foot. But a few minutes were spent at the table. All, both men and l:JOys, we r e too eager fo r t he aport ahead for them to waste the mome nta u.


The Prairie Raneh. na,-essarlly. Thus, halt an hour from the dfs cm-dant braying of Walt's born, be, the brothers, the b u ckaro, the cook and four berdsmentwo of whom had been sent by Mr. Harvey to as sist the youngst.ers in their "rounding up"were in 1tbe saddle and galloping briskly o;ver the prairie. Neithe r Ross nor Arthur bad much to say, limply because they bad their bands full. Their m ounts were overflowing with life and 1pirits,,and though the boys had not forgotten Walt's instructions, their bands were too heavy upon the jaw-breaking bits. And to one acto the English method of sitting up on a h o r se-well hack in the saddle, with the 11tirrups a full foot in advance of the center line of the body-it requires time for one to gr>w u sed to the Mexican seat. Cousin Walt. rode between them, and his tougue was rarely idle. Much good advice and valuable hints did he give them, togethe r wi t h some interesting Information, a portion of which, for the better underst.anding of what is to follow, may be given here, ill a con d e nsed form. Mr. Harvey and two other men, whOBe cattle. range s formed a huge triangle, bad formed a sort f confederation for mutual as well as in dividual good. If one r equired help, the others assisted him. Their cattle and stock mingled toge ther at will Twice each year there was a grand ins pection. In the fall of the year, a rodea was ordered; that is, everybody turned out to drive up the cattle, to corral and iden tify tbem; to mark tbe calves and brand mch of the stock as had escaped at the last gathering. In the spring, anotber rodea was called, for the purpose of branding the calves marked in the fall As this arrangement was copied after that most in vogue among the Californian stock growors, the confederates also made usa of the technical terms employed by them, which ex ample will be followed in this series. "Until you get the bang of the thing, you fellows want to watch us, instead of going in on your own hook," said Walt, impressively. Our Texas long-horns are not much like the cattle you have in the States. When they take a notion to go, go they will, if it is through a stone wall. The only thing that will cow them is a whip; and not always that.'' As he spoke, Walt swung the long lash for ward, with an almost imperceptible twist of his wrist. A crack like that of a heavily loaded pistol followed, and the cook, with a little yell of amazement, jerked bis head back 10 suddenly that his sombrero fell to the gro und A little shower of sparks betrayed the truly dextrons feat. Riding in a gallop the young ranchero had plucked the cigar from between the oook's Ii.Pl with the 1aah of Ilia whip. Stooping low, Walt picked op the W and handed it, together with a fresh cigar, to the cook, then resuuied his position between the brothers. "You see now why I ask you to keep out of the thick. When you learn to handle a whip like tbat--when you can put the cracker within an inch or two of the spot you aim at, every time, then you have nothing to fear from the long-horns. You can ride through and tbrougb the herd that e.-er lived. But to-day you must promise me tbat you will keep out of the ruck. To give you a fair specimen of the work, I kept out one of the wildest herds of the whole range. "Don't be uneasy," and Arthur laughed a lit.tie shortly. "We'll have our hands full learning bow to manage with these saddles and jaw-breakers, withoutplayin& bull fight." Despite the annoyance and positive discom fort caused by the-to them-awkward saddle and bridle, the brothers really enjoyed that wild scamper through the early morning. The air was so keen and pure, their horses so full of life and vigor, dashing through the frost-stif fened grass, up and down the gentle slopes, snorting, tossing their long manes and enjoying the frolic quite as much as their riders. The man who does not feel better aud purer for such a mad scamper, is too good for this world The sun was just clearing the eastern swells, when the cattle were sighted, some feeding, some reposing on the long slope of the hill. Without a word the bu.ckaro, who was in tbe lead, b ore sharply to the left and swept on to guard against the cattle breaking away, tail on end, in the direction contrary to that in which they were to be driven. "Now mind," hurriedly cried Walt, as they sped along, -I'll put you in position, and yon must wait until we give the word and charge in. Don't crowd them too close, and be ready to wheel either side, in case any of the brutal should take a notion to charge you. You can dodge them easy enough, if you keep a cool head." Walt stationed Ross flrst, then, nearly hundred yards further on, he le.ti; Arthur, spurring on to secure his own p

The i-rairfe Ra.nch. !fot so with the experienced herder. Walt IOUnd.ed his born, and yelling, booting, scream ing like so many lunatics, they charge the herd, their sbort-hantlled, long-lashed whips, sending fo1tb a never-ending.. volley or pistol cracks. Tho cattle crowded closer, those outside seeking to climb over those next them, lowillg and routing like mad. Then the daring borGemen were upon them, plyiog their whirs with merciless skill. Each touch of the seasoned raw-hide cracker cut out a bit of skin as neatly as though with a knife. A gaunt, brindle bull. stung to madness by the stinging l<.1sh, wheeled sharply upon the buckaro with an unearthly bellow. But an old stager was before him. The trained mustang leaped swiftly aside, and with a backward sweep, Pedr1llo split open the bull's nose with his whip. Again and again the blow was r epeated swifter far than the eye could follow the motions, and then, thoroughly J:owed, the bull} with a l oud roar of pain and terror, turned and thundered down the slope Like magic all resistance ceased, and the en tire herd followed his le ad. At Walt's shout, the brothers followed after, and were soo n close upon the skirts of the herd. There waa no giving the h erd time to recover from its sudden panic. That would be but to do tbe work all over again. They were headed in the right direction, and must be held to it. With four men in the rear, the other five scattere d along the fiauks to guard against a change of course, on swept the long-legged mass at a rate that opened the eyes of Arthur and Ross. It seemed more like chasing a herJ of elks, than driving cattle. it they could run so fa s t in a crowded mass, what could one do with a clear fie ld1 A Texan long-horn is to one of our cattle, what the prong-horn is to a tame goat. 1 Not for long did the brothers remember the repeated warningi of the young ranchero, and carried away by the wild excitement of the hour, they pressed closer upon the heels of the flying herd, plying their whips with more enel!'gy than skill. Arthur managed to get in aeveral good strokes upon a gaunt, blue steer, and the animal, stung to madness slackened Its pace enough to get itJ bead clear of the rear rank, then turne d sharply, with a furious bel low, charging upon its tormentor. If left alone, the mustang would easily have avoided the headlong rus h, but Arthur instinc Lively bore hard upon the reins, and wit.u a 1eream of pain the horse re:irec.I and fell b""k ward. More by good luck than management, the laQ. fell clear of the animal, and though bruised, sprung to his feet almost instantly, only to race the threatening horns of the beast be had thoughtlessly goaded into madness. Fortunately for him, Walt had kept an eye 111><>n the and seeing that his warnins shout was either unbeard or unheed ed, at ooee sped to the rescue. He saw that Arthur was too bewildered or else too much h u 1t to dodge the char ge, and so took the one risk' chance of saving htm from_ the threatening RiLiing straight at the steer, he lift.ed his hors e and hurled it bodily against the side ol the brute. The shock was terrible. Horse and rider and steer all went down in o l6 confused heap, but like a cat, the young ranc lero SlJrung to bis feet, whip in hand, as the steor arose. Walt sprung baek to a distance more effective for his weapon, and throwing the '1hole of his strength and skill into the effort, r ained a storm of blows upon the furiou8 ani mal's front so rapid and stingiflg that tbe cieature was blinded and perfectly helpless, rot ring under the lash that drnw blood at ev 1 ry stroke. Tben, uuable to withstand that terr: ble weap<>Q it wheeled and sped after its compa 1ioos. Beyond the scare, no serious barn 1 was done, and a minute later the cousins we1 e mounted and galloping along after the retrBL-...,; he1d. CHAPTER IV. 1'HE SENAL. "WHAT do you think of our :,ong-horns, now1" and the young ranchero grinr. e d broadly as he turned to Arthur Duncan. "I've known just such horns p 1 t to worse use, and I'd rather face the point than the butt with you at the other end of it With a laugh Walt raiged the I mg silver mounted horn to his lips and sour ded a pro lon ged, musical blast. "Tbere's music in it, if one only mo ws how to blow it out. When you hear 1 dozen of them coming from as many diff e ent d.irec tions, out of the early morn, and mil gling with the bell-notes of the hounds, then y0u will un derstand what I mean." It be delicious," grunted Itoss, as his mustang stumbled. "We beard the sound of your mellow horn ill the early morn for the past two days, and, if you have no objections, for the future please send an old he donkey to bray our slumber away, for, sure's your born, your breath sounds mighty bad inf horn." The young ranchero made no rEply, for be eaw that mischief was brewing. That ethers were equally upon the alert, a shar p warning mot from the horns of tbe herd.,mm upon either side of the drove, plainly prov e d "You two slack up!" cried Watt, sharply, to the brothers. ''Hold your hor>es well in hand, ready to d odge-if they nowd yo1,1 close, use your revolvers and shoot to kill I" Arthur and Ross stared at eacil other in amazeme nt. What could he me1 m1 Was there danger of Indians--of cattle-thieves? As far as thA eye could reach there was no living object in vlew eave the herd of cattle, Ni


Tile Prairie Ranch. borBel and their rfden, In their Ignorance, from the big corra1, and the man would be o n l y the brothers never suspected that the danger too glad to escape his share of the work at the was in that fleeing herd, yet the were expense of so short a wall;:. easy to be read by an experienced eye. A few minutes later they "came in 'sight of Their speed was decreasing. Those upon the the huge corral, or rather cluster of corrals, outside were crowding upon the compact cenaud at the clear blast of Walt's horn, near a ter, but their long-horned fronts were turned hundred horsemen were seen forming in two outward and shaken with short, explosive bel-long lines through which the cattle were t o be lows. And scarcely had Walt finished his forced into the corral -. word of warning than, as by one accord, the Now came the tug of war. The cattle appacattle broke ranks and scattered in every rently remembered their past experience upon direction, despite the stillging lashes s.nd furious similar occasions, and fought fiercely for liber yelling of the h e rders. ty, but in vain. Wherever they turned there Then the brothers reRlized their danger, but was a horseman with terrible whip. Blood i t was too late to wholly avoid it. Ere they followed every blow, and the pistol-like crack! could turn their horses t.o flee, the hairy monw ere unceasing. sters were upon them. Slowly the cattle were forced down the lines, Arthur, taking counsel of dear experience, .and each moment set more liberty t.o left his h o rse to itself, and as a cons e q ence the force them on, until, with a headlong rush, the nimble, kn owing creature bore him unscathed foremo s t of the herd plunged through the ope n through that h e adlong, unreaso uing ch a rge. ing into the con-al. The o t hers followed in hot Not so Ross. A long legged stee r with lowe r e d haste, the were replaced, and the first act head seemed bent on fairly running him down. was done. If left to itself, the mustang, which was bolaly Uncl e Frank came up and cordially greeted facing the animal, would have dodged the his nephews, for be had not been at home sinee shock, but Ross pulled bard upon the left rein, their arrival. He led them to where they coul d and, unal.Jle to resist the jaw-breaking bit, tbe overlook the proceedings, and explained all that horse wheeled, just in time to receive the full occuried. force of the shock upon its right side. As for Walt, be was in the midst of the wild Horse, and rider went down together, scene, glorying in the mad, dangerous turmoil just as with a shrill yell, the young rancbero As previously stated, the main object of the rushed up. He bent low in the saddle, malting autumn rodea, is to collect all the cows that a sure grasp at the lad's belt, and then, with a have young calves in order to mark the cattle superhuruan effort, rose erect in thE' saddle, so that there may be no doubts as to the owner beariug with him bis cousin, thus d _extrously ship of each, when tbe spring rodea takes place, snatched from almost certain death. which is for the purpose of branding the yearA dozen leaps aud they were clear of the lings. ruck. Ross was dropped gently to the ground At the fall gathering the calves are Etill un and the next moment Walt almost fell from weaned, and, of course, stick closely to their the saddle, white and wan as a ghost, entirely mothers. The senal, or mark upo11 her ears, overcome by the dange r bis cousin bad run and shows to whom each cow belongs; and the calves the terrible strain upon his powers of mind and are given the same mark. Every stock-raiser body. has bis pecnliar senal, together with bis brand, There were few words spoken. The danger duly recorded. A case of counterfeiting seldom bad been too great and was still too recent. A occurs. long, warm clasp of the hand, an interchange The first move was to separate the cows and o f deep, earnest glances; no more. calves from the male cattle. Besides the bars Tbe black mustang was lying motionless in a through which the herd had ente1 'ed the corral pool of its own blood. The long, slender born there were three others, one upon each side and of the steer had entered just behind its foreend, each opening into another corral l eg, passing through and emerging at the left Before each of t hese three openings stood two breast. Death had been almost instantaneous. men, armed with whips. A score of others There was no time for conversation. Pedrillo were in the corral, similarly armed, whos e and the others had succeeded in the duty it was to lloparate the bulls, steers and leaders of the herd, and the rest were flocking yearlings from the cows and calves, one or two around them. Ross clambered up behind Walt, at a time, and force toward one of the open and as they swept around to the rear of the ings, when the guards would step aside, and cattle, the young ranchero summ<>ned the coow: ti..., cattle, seeing liberty apparently before a nd bade him give bis mount to Ross anJ foltbem, would dash through the bars, onfy to low on foot with the furniture of the dead musttnd that they bad exchanged one prison for anliang. other. Ross would have protested, buf(Walt would J The scene was a s excitinit as It was dangerhear him. They were only three mil.llS o us. Few animala have more of the devil m.


The Prairie Ranch. their composition than these Baille long-born& They are treacherous in the extreme. An old and apparep.tly broken-down ox will suddenly and without visible cause, cast off the shackles or age and infirmity, and "rn a muck with all the deadly fury of an insane Malay. How much wone, then, are a hundred of them, in the prime of age and condition, goaded to fury by the yell and the cracks of the cruel whips! It calls for cool courage and thorough self reliance in the man who would face them, upon foot and armed only with a whip, especially when surrounded by trampling hoofs and clattering horns-horns that would slip through one's body as easily as a spear or saber. Arthur and Ross Duncan watched the excit ing scene with glowing eyes and thrilling nerves. moment they expected to wit ness some bloody tragedy, but as often were \hey agreeably disappointed. By twos and threes the male cattle were driven into the other corrals, until only the cows and calves were left. Then all save the outer set of bars were securely fastened, and the work of applying the senal was com menced. Several of the cows were.separated from the rest, and almost as quickly their calves were beside them, panting and quivering with fear and fatigue. The guards stepped a.side, the ani mals rushed f orth, bellowing with joy. As many horsemen were in waiting, and riding alongside, saw bow the cows were marked. Then a cast of the lasso secured the calf. The marker ran forward, and kneeling upon its neck, quickly cut the senal upon one or both, as the case demanded, then removed the noose, leaving cow and .Q&lf to fle e until fatigue or a sense of safety induced it to stop. Before the hour of noon, all the calveR were marked, and the men, after a wash from the barrels of water hauled to the spot for that purpose, gathered beneath the shade of the corral-fence to eat a cold dinner. The peculiar care which both Arthur and Rosa betrayed in seating themselves, called forth many good-humored jokes, but theSP were changed to expressions of sympathy, when Walt narrated the accident which had occurred to each of them. Uncle Frank looked grave, but the cousins came to the rescue and absolved Walt from even the shadow of carelessness. They had torgotten his repeated advice, and suffered the consequence. "Now then," said the young ranchero, when an h our had been passed in rest, you'll see the choicest part of the whole business. Of course, since you don't know how to manage the lariat, you can't take a very active part in the sport, but you must mount, and I warrant 1ou'll enjoy it aa much u anybody. Come on I'' CHAPTER V. THE Hllj:RRO. "WHAT'S in the wind, nowf" was the natural inquiry put to the young ranchero by .Arthur and Ross, when they noticed his grow ing excitement. There' s fun ahead, and plenty of it! Come on. I 'll explain it all while we are rigging out our horses Now, neither Arthur nor Ross felt very keen for the saddle, for sundry reasons, but they had left thAir home to learn what everyday-life was upon a stock farm, and a few inches of tenaer skin should not cow them thus early. With this secret resolve, they followed their cousin's example and prerared their mustang for work. While thus occupied, Walt gave them an idea of what was coming. Where one's cattle are numbered by thou sands, and the grazing grounds measured by the league, it is not so strange that a goodly number of calves should escape the fall marking and the spring branding both, though, sooner or later, they must hear the badge of servitude. At this rodea the number of "volunteers" was unusually large, and .nearly two hundred unmarked, unbranded yearlings had been sepa rated from the rest and penned in a side cor ral, being reserved as a fitti n g conclusion of their three days' labors. These were to be marked and branded. "But how can you tell which is whi c h 1" asked Arthur, as he rather gingerly settled him self in the saddle. "We can't; so we each take one third of the lot, and call it square Come-there's father beckoning tous. Let' s see what he wants." Uncle Frank led the way to the fence of the corral which contained the unmarked cattle, and appeared to be pointing out certain peculi arities among them to his nephews. Instead, he was speaking to his s o n. "Make a run or two, if you like, Walt, but don't overwork your horse. There's another job on hand, that will need a fres h horse and man "Better speak to Pedrillo, then-" "There it isl" and Uncle Frank's brows con tracted. Warren has made sure of him, al ready. You see, this is the way of it. We found among the cattle an unusually fine six year-old bull, without mark or brand, and of course saved llim to be marked with the rest. Just before dinner, Warren bantered Jones and I to choose a man each, and ride for the bull and a hundred dollars cash. We couldn't well refuse, and so the match was made. Now here comes Pedrillo, and tells me that Warren had secured him to ride, before he proposed the match." "Rather sharp practice, eeefng the bucknro lo your employ," laughed tbe r&D-


10 The Prairie Ranch. chero. I'll do the best I know, and if you lose, 'twill not be my fault." The b oys were eager to see everything, and Walt. li>d them over to where his father's men were gathered. One man, with bare arms and tn a blacksmith's apron, was bending over a brazier filled with glowing charcoal, in which were long handled irons. At a word from Walt, he pulled one out and held it up before the brothers. The branding-iron at tached was pretty fairly desc ril!ed by Ross, wheu he declared that it looked more like a huge i;;pider that an elephant had trod on than anght else he could think of. A loud blast from an ox-horn gave notice that the work was about to begin, and hur riedly placing his c ousins where they could see all without being in the way, Walt took up his position a few -yards from the bars of the cor rel, lasso ready curled in his band. Two men kept close in bis rear, the dutieR of wbfoh were soon made clear. Tbe guardians of the opening sprung aside, and three fine yearlingq charged through and made a desperate dash for liberty. According to the arrangements made before hand, be who rode for Fl'Bnk Harvey was en titled to the choice of the fil'st lot; second choice of the next trio; the last. of the third; fust of the fourth lot set fn>e; thus alternating to the end, by which means each owner was favored alike. Walt quickly made his choice, and dashing forward, sent bis curling througb theair. The ins tant the cast was made, his horse wheeled halt-around, planting its feet firmly and bracing itself the coming shock. With a sharp twang the lariat straightened out, the young heifer was flung upon its haunches, then over upon' its side. The two assistants rode forward, displaying no less skill with the lasso than thefr young master. One noose se cured both hind legs, the other caught the right fore-foot, and a m ome.nt later the heifer was lying perfectly helpless, the three Jas soes pulling strongly in as many different direc tions. A man, armed with a keen knife, ran for ward and upon the animal's neck, quickly put the senaZ, or mark of his master, upon both ears. Close upon bis heels came the bla<'ksmith, bearing the dull red branding iron, Touching this to the damp sand, tempering tho beat with the judgment of one well skilled in bis art, be pressed the hierro upon the h eifer's hip, b ol.ting it there until the blue smoke and the sickening smell of burning hair a nd bide scenteu the air. With a shout that 8ignified his work was performed, he removed the iron and hur ried to place it in the brazier. 1 he marker who through this had knelt upon the heifer' aeck, DQW duni otf the ropes, and retreated. The animal staggered to hf11 feet, gave <. mighty shake, and with tail on end and a hol low bellow, plunged away at breakneck speed. This description will suffice for all the repe titions of the capture, marking and branding . In a. few cases there were temporary failures, some amusing incidents, but through all there was a similarity to the e.bove that would render a detailed description tedious. Enough that Walt retired to the side of his cousins after his second cast, and with them enjoyed the excit ing scene. Two houm late r the last animal was marked, branded and turned loose to run at will. Upon ordinary occasions this would be the signal for breaking up and starting for home, but there was still the Maverick to be dis posed of. Warren was in high feather, and, feeling assured of success, thanks to his fore sight in se curing P'edrillo as bis champion, kept pressing bets upon everybody alike. Jones, the other of the three rancheros, fought shy of his offers. But not so Uncle Frank. At a nod fro. m Walt, he accepted the wagers whenever offered, until, rendered uneasy by such cool confidence, Warren ceased his offers end insisted upon the match taking place a.i once Meanwhile Walt and his cousins had taken a good look at the bull. It was shut up in a corra) by itself, and was the picture of sullen fe. rocity, slowly pacing around the inclosure, oc casionally giving the stout fence a vicious dig witb its horns. A huge, deep-red animal, all bone and muscle, with a stiff, wiry mane. Its back and shoulders bore the scars of many a. desperate fight, and one burn had been splin tered ha!f-w,p.y to its base. "Do your best, Walt," muttered his father, I've got over five hundred dollars on the re suit." "You will be that much the richer in an hour. Pedrillo is going to ride his black. I found that out before I gave you the signal. It is faster than my horse, but I'll win sure I" The terms of the match were announced. The bull was to be turned loose and given five minutes' law. Then, at the word, the three champions were to follow. The one wbo>e lasso first closed npon the animal was to be the victor. -As the bars were lowered the bull dashed out an\l away, but as be cleared the crowd, his speed slackened; be stopped, and for a minute seemed to deliberate whether or no he should not avenge the insults be had received upon the gathel'ing. Prudence prevailed, however, and with a sullen bellow he trotted leisurely away aiter the distant cattle. Walt took occasion of the wait to say to hm cousins: Follow after u11 as close as you can, aud you'll see some fun."


The Prairie Ranch. 11 'l'laere was no time for any answer. The moment for starting was cl o se at hand, and $he thre" champions drew abreast, ready for the word. It came--and as by one impulse, the trio plunged forward, the erowd following hard behind. For a hundred yards the champions rode even, then, inch by inch, Jones's champion began to drop behind, and, ere halt a mile was covered, it was evident that he was out of the race. Not so the others. Neck and neck they raced, and there was no visible change in their positfons, uutil they were within thre e hundred yards of the fleeing bull. Then, with a low laugh, Pedrillo touched his black with the spur, aml it shot ahead, one, two-half a dozen lengths. But Walt only smiled. He felt that his turn was near at hand. Les s than a hundred yards ahead of Pedrillo was the bull. The b'Uckaro was gathering up his Jasso in readiness for the winning cast. He glanced over his shoulder at the young ran chero; but he exulted too soon. Walt uttered a sharp, peculiar whistle. As hough by magic, the black mustang dropped to the ground, and, taken utterly by surprise, Pedrillo was flung over its head, and as Walt dashed past him, a m o cking laugh filled his ear. Quick as a cat, he leaped his feet and sprung into the saddle, as his mustang arose, but it was only to see the lasso of his young rival settle over the bull's head. Ere the animal could arise, two more laSsoes were fast; and then wound around its legs in such a manner as to hold it helpless until the knife and branding-iro n bad done their work. Turn about is fair play I" muttered Walt, In the buckaro's ear. "You gave me a tumble from tbat same horse, and tried to make me beheve it stumbled accidentally. But I caught your signal, and >owed I'd get square." "I'll pay the debt, senor-and with interest!" muttered the horse breaker, his black eyes glittering. Walt laughed, carelessly, but he was fated to remember these words, at no distant day. CHAPTER VI. CHASING THE PRONG-HORNS, A WEEK or two pas sed quietly away after the rodea was brought to a successful conclu sion, during which Arthur and Ross Duncan faithfully carried out their resolve of learning '.he everyday routine of life upon a stock farm. These little details were interesting enough to livb through, p osse ssing as they did all tbe charms of novelty, but the reader would find a literal record rather dull reading. Enough that the brothers fam!Jiarized them101 ves with Mexican saddle and bridle, _and, through persIStence, gained their "riding Tliat iSi the1 could riqe from mona till da,wn without especial fatigue, or ftinchllll whenever they sat upon the hard around the supper table. Cousin Walt was an oracle to tbem, save on one point. Whe n he spoke of catch ing the swift-footed antelopes, or prong-horns by means or horsas and bounds, they scouted at the idea. They had read too much to swallow such a marvel. The wind itself could not keep pace with the" goats." "Yon wi11 learn your mistake, some day," was the quiet reply. ''You will see dogs pull down a prong-horn, and, if you like, I will take one alive with the lariat." As a natural consequence, this wordy but amicable dispute res ulted in an expedition, the main object of which was to forever settle tbs contested questi o n. The day had not yet dawne d when the littla cavalcade of five persons rods away from tba ranch. Pedrillo, the buckaro, and a lithe, wiry half-br ee,d bore the cousins company. Hard at their heels followed half a d o z e n dogs, four of tbem being pure-blooded gray hounds, the oth ers being Iris h staghounds, of fair blood and appearance, though the critical eye might detect a far-away cross of the fox hound, especially about the head. They were well trained and under thorough corumand. At frequ ent intervals a jackrabbit would be kicked out of its form by some one of the dancing, prancing horses, and dart a way after its. own peculiar fashion, making huge leaps, its legs as straight. and unb> mdir.g as though jointless, its noss thrust out and long ears lying fiat along its shoulders. Then it would come to an aurupt halt, several hundre d yards away, and its huge, black-tipped ears would pop up above the grass in a listenin!l" at titude. The dogs would -whine appealingly and look up into the face of their young mas ter, but the asked-for word did not come, and their heads would droop aa they trotted silent ly along. The fates seemed adverse to the hopes of the hunters during the first part of the day, for not a prong-horn was sighted, though usually so plenty. To and fret, quartering t)le prairie, paying a visit to every hollow and ''draw,'' the young ranchero led the way, resolved to "find," though he s e arched till dark. Reaching a depression in the soil, around which upon every hand rose the prairie swe lls, the party divided and each one rode toward a chos e n point, to view the land beyond. Pedril lo was the successful one, anrl the boys saw bim bend low in the saddle and hastily retreat down the hillside. That was enough. They knew that the long-sought-for game was found, and eagerly flocked together. A dozen goats, senor," said the lnuilcaro, ht. dark eyes glowina;. ''You can send the do&1


11 The Prairie Ranch. OYer, and we can see the chase without any trouble. Walt from his saddle and directed the half-breed to put the stag-bounds in leash. When this was done he motioned the gray hounds to follow, and with them at bis heels he glided up the slope, sinking low as be ap proached the summit, unt!!. he was completely bidden in the tall grass. Presently his band was visible, motioning the others to advance, but ere they reached his po sition, he arose to his feet with a clear ringing :yell. A moment later the party were brought to\ gether upon the ridge, gazing eagerly the chase, which swept along the side of the slope. "I wanted you to see the start," said Walt, but the goats took the alarm, and so I had to send the dogs in." "They're gone-oat of sight!" cried Arthur, greatly excited by the momentary glimpse of the chase, so swift, yet so smooth and graceful "Come on-" "Cool and easy, boy," laughed Walt, though be mounted as he spoke "You'll see all you want, right from here. Didn't I tell you so?" Even as he spoke the antelopes appeared in view, over half a mile away, upon the ridge, and sped on, the graybounds barely fifty yards behind them, keeping upon the highest ground, 88 though bent on regaining the spot from whence they started. The antelope is a slave to one habit that is frequently taken advantage or, to itH sorrow. That is like the hare and jack-rabbit, it will freqdently double upon itself whenever it is chased. It will do this when upon a perfectly level plain with a clean course before it. A hound that is well broken to the chase will take advantage of this, by taking a "short cut,'' and antelopes are not unfrequently killed by dogs far their inferior both in sp e ed and bottom, Another habit is no le ss dangerous, where the ground is not a dead l e vel. The pronghorn will invariably keep to the highest ground as though they wished to guard against ning int6 a trap. Nor was this case an excep tion to the general rule. Straight around the edge of the vast basin sped the graceful crea tures, but swift though they were, they barely held their vantage-ground against the long gaunt grayhounds. "Down the hill!" cried Walt, the ex ample. If we head them off here, they'll out across to the next ridge." The antelopes paid no attention to the horse men, but flashed past the spot so recently occu pied and began their second circuit of the basin. Tbe entire.. chase was viewed by the brothers with thrilliug enthusiasm. Never before bad they seen a like this. But Walt was determined to bring the affair w an end before the &ra,yhound.s were quite knocked np, and taking bfs laSBO, be bade half-breed follow him with the stag-hounds still in leash. Keeping well covered by the rank grass, he crept up to the ridge, and there lay in wait !or the oncoming chase. That was not long, though the prong-horns ran slower and with l ess elasticity than at first. Unsuspecting the ambush, they drew within range of the lasso. With a shout as warning to th" half-breed to let slip his hounds, the young rancbero sprung up and made his cast, His aim was true, and he jerked the leader to the ground. The others crowded together in bewildered surprise. The next instant they were assail e d from front and rear, and each hound claimed its victim, dragging it to the ground with as much apparent ease as a cat masters a mouse. The four survivors, losing all instinct in that terrible moment, darted down the slope almost directly for the little party of horsemen, whose r ifles and pistols rung out sharply and added to the slaughter. But one of that fated herd es caped with life, three falling to lead, one to the lasso, and sir beneath the jaws of the hounds. "Will you believe my story nowt" laughed Walt, when the party once more came together. I admit that such a wholesale haul is a i are occurrence, but with good dogs you can take an antel?pe or two any day, by putting in fresh hounds when the first are tired out." "We' ll admit anything and believe everything. But how are we going to get all these home?" "We eou!d carry them, but as we're a dozen miles from the ranch, I move we send back for a wagon, while we go into camp over on the creek. There's plenty of fish, and I've got hooks.'' "But Mr. Jones sp:-ke for the dogs for t.omorrow." "They can go, too. We'll not need them. How is it!" "Just as you say; I'd like to camp out, for one.' And I,'' promptly put in Ross. That settles it, then. The creek is less than two miles from here. We'll clean the goats, and carry them over there. Pedrillo and Marco can take the dogs home, and fetch out a team early in the morning." So it was settled. Walter, Pedrillo and the half-breed quickly disemboweled the antelope&, and stuffed the hollows fnll of green grass. Then, tied two and two, by the legs, the car casses were hung upon the horses and the party struck over the ridge for the creek; the winding com-se of which was clearly indicated by the llark fringe of timber and undergrowth along its banks. This reached, and a neat little glade select.eel 88 the camping ground, the antelopes were bung upon low branches out of the way. Thea


, The Prairie Ranch. the Wi:karo and Marco, with the bounds, took their departure, the former calling out, signitl cantly: "Remember, senor, what we beard about the horse thieves. Those three horses would be worth running some risk for." Tuey will get more lead than horseflesh, it tb!.' dogs pay us a visit," laughed the young rancbero. "Come, boys, let's rig up a shanty. Tbe nights are too cold now to sleep without aome cover.'' CHAPTER VII. NOCTURNAL DISTURBANCES. BOTH Arthur and Ross Duncan sprung will ingly to work when the young ranchero called upon them, and under his guidance the shelter for their night's encampment quickly arose. Though rude, it served the purpo se admirably. Two low-branched trees, a dozen feet apar t, were used to support the ridge-pole-a dead sapling. Poles and decaying limbs were placed with one end resting upon this, the other reach ing the ground at an angle of thirty degrees. Over this were placed leafy twigs and armfuls of dried grass until the roof was impervious to dew, it not to rain itself. Satisfied with this, more grass and dry leaves were collected to form material for a bed, then: Now cut you a light pole apiece, and tie on these lines, while I look np some bait," said Walt. He was promptly obeyed, though the boys had a q!:iet laugh over the rude-tackle and, like all youthful fishermen who have been trained to the reel and fly, felt that the catch would be but light indeed with such weapons. Walt soon found what he was in search of: an old rotten stump, fairly honeycombed by borers. A sturdy kick shattered the thin shell, and from the crumbling maSl! out rolled dozens of red-headed grub-worms, "crawly" to han dle, but the most killing bait known to rural fishermen. FiUing a large leaf with the grubs, Walt re turned to his comrades. Together they reached the creek, a small, quiet stream, but little more than a succession of holes or pools, connected by miniature rapida, wbere the watAr bubbled and murmured over the clear, pebbly sand. "You needn't be so careful,'' and the young ranchero laughed softly at the caution with which bis cousins approached the wate r. "There are no trout here to be frightened by a 1hadow. Make as much noise and show your selves as much as you please; our country fish are rather sociable than exclusive. What ia lacking in delicacy is more tban ma-long, white, W: round as your 'luger-that bites freely, but skims J:ODr cork along the surface, instead of pullmg it The red-horse, built like the chub, but bright pink and vermilion around thii throat and up per belly, gives two or three short bobs, then darts away like an arrow. 'l'he pull-pout-or bull-head, as we call them-takes its time, a gentle dab or two at the float, then waits a bit. A !jJ;ranger would believe it bad gone away, but not so. When a big-headed cat SUJells at .the bait, be is yours, if you only know how to wait. Perhaps a minute later comes another bob be is taking the bait in bis teeth, but does not to swallow it until he is swimming away. It you pull up now you will lose your fish. He draws the float slowly lilong the top of the water, so gently that not a ripple 1s made then the float sinks under at a sharp angle'. The bait is swallowed, and all you have to do is to pull in your fish." Thus the young rauchero discoursed, and bis hands were quite as busy as bis tongue. The fish bit eagerly, and the bank behind was quick ly alive with the flapping vict1m8. One thing puzzled Arthur and Ross. So long as their cousin's book Wa:i in the water, not a fish would touch their bait though their tackle was the same sort and they used the same kind of bait. Walt could not explain why this was so, nor have I ever found one who could: nevertheless, it is a well-known fact. Half an hour sufficed to catch all the fish they could eat for supper and breakfast, and Walt set about cleaning them, while the bro thers collected wood for the tire, which they intencled to keep burning through the night. 'l'his was neceSl!ary for comfort. Though i* was then the lovely Indian summ. er, and the days were sometimes warm, the ni<>"hts were keen and cold, with sharp frosts, tee forming to the thickness of window glass. With fish and antelope-steaks roasted before the glowing fire, the boys ate heartily with .an appetite such as 'the prairie air alone can give. This over, and the horses brought nearer to the ciunp, they stretched out under the J.ean-t.o, ancl


/ 14 fte Prairie Rand. chatting merrily. Walt was enjoyiiig his pipe; the brothers did not u s e the "ee d. Arthur and Ros s eagerly drank in the words of their cousin, as be told them abuut tbe many interesting incidents of bis prairie life. In the days gone by, stock-growing was far less pleasant than now. Cunning Indians and no less to be feared white gave the rancberos am pie work, and, young as be was, Walt bad taken more than one long aud bard ride after the bold robbers, when the trail was almost certai:a to end in a bard fight, bloodshed and even death. He was in the midst or one of these adven tures, when the night air was rent by a wild, weird sound-a sbort, snapping yelp, dying away in a long-drawn, lugubrious wail, that caus ed the brothers to involuntarily draw near er together, a cold chill playing along their spinal colu

The Prairie Ranch. tops, the susplcfous snortfng and angry pawing of the startled horses. Theo it was that Arthur and I!oss Duncan showed the good blood that filled their veins. Back to back they stood before the Jean-to, wito reatly. pistols and knives, awaiting the attack of the uuknowu foe. If their faces were paler, if their hearts beat faster than usual, it was through excitement, not fear. A dark shape came toward them, and at a warning word from Arthur, two r e volvers covered it, but ere the triggers could be pulled, the shadowy figure vanishec!, and the low voice Jf their cousin was heard: "Don' t waste your powder and lead on a friend, boys. I 'll show you something a heap better'n that to shoot at, if you'll let me off this time." You ought to be more careful, Walt," and Arthur's voice was far from steady as Le I had you covered, and in another momPnt-" That's all right. Give you my word, I ex pected to find you hid under the blankets, bewailing the unlucky stars that led you out here to fall untimely victims to this Horrible Howler of the Pathless Plains. I'm glad to see you're better grit-" "Ob, drop that nonsense-what in thunder Is it all about, anywayl" impatiently cried Ross. -"I was just thinking-I don't know what I said,'' and the young raochero laughed shortly. "It's all right, though, now I know you are to be depended upon. Take your rifles and do just as I do." Ross gave an impatient snort, but the brothers did as bidden. ''I'm going first," added Walt. "I'll make for that tree, where I shot the wolf, and you must follow when I whistle. If the critter jumps me,' don't risk a shot unle s s you're sure, but wade in with your knives. Understandq" "What critter? Can' t you speak out? You say shoot and stab, and all that, while we don't know whether it is a grasshoppEll"ora buck In jun we've got to look out for." I don't know much more. It is s0me sort of an animal, but whethe r timber wolf or something worse, I can't say. I caught just a glimpse of 'it sneaking around, after the fresh meat, I reckon." Walt waited for no more, but glided swiftly toward the tree indteated, his weapons ready tor use. They were not needed, just then. H seen by the prowling animal at all, he was un molested and uttering the agreed upon signal, he was soon rejoil'ed by the brothers. ".All we can do is to wait here and watch," be muttered, with a slciw, searching glance around. We might find too mucl.. i! we went olrirmishing around in the dark-" The sentence was never finished. From close behind them came that wailing cry, followed by a faint rustling among the bushes, tl:\.en all was still. "That's interesting," muttered Walt, with a forced la. ugh. "Ten feet further and we would have been close enough to baye shaken paws with bis bashful majesty! Well, it st1ttles one question; he s not overly anxious to con-a to close quarters with us, anyway." Neither .Arthur nor Ros s spoke. They were new to experience, and though their feel ings were not those of fear, they could not trust their tongues to utter commonplace words. "I see him!" so ftly muttered the young ran chero, after a few minutes of silent waiting and watching. "Just to the right of that stunted elm-bat" Even as he spoke, a long, gaunt body shot through the air, over .the glowing camp fire, and struck with a heavy shock agaiust th3 hanging carcasses of the prong-horns. .A momentary swaying to and then the fasten ings gave way, and both fell heavily to the ground. "Nowt" grated Walt. "Take him behind the fore-leg, but wait until I give the word. Ready? fire!" .As one explosi o n the triple report rung out, and the cousins sprung to one side, clear of tbe smok e, revolvers in hand; but there was no need of a second volley. .At the r eport the wild beast reared upon its hind feet with an ear-splitting screech, pa wmg the air furiously for a moment, then leaJled high up, turning a hnlf summerset and falling bead-first into the fire. .A spasmodic kick that scattered the blazing brands in every direction rolled the creature out of the fire, where it lay quivering in death. The advanced slowly, but their caution was needless. The formidable creature was dead; two bullets entered behind its right shoulder, emerging upon the left side of its neck, while Walt had planted his lead back ot the ear, into the beast's brain. "It is a panthe r, I reckon," and the young rnncbero laughed a little proudly as he arose from the examination. "I did not believe there were any in the se parts. There hasn't been one killed near here since I can remember. We'd better skin it now; it'll be easier work than in the morning, even if the wolves were to let it alone. We'll need the skm. to show when we tell the story, too." The brothers were willing enough, but Walt soon begged them to leave the work to him, lest the bide should be ruined. "You don't reck0n there's many more of them around, do you?" suddenly asked Ross, at a low, mournful bowl came to their ears. "There's your answer,'' laughed the young ranchero. "When the coy6tes give' voice, you can swear that there is nothing more dangerous


'l'he Prairie Ranch. kroumL You 11,ligbt range th&>e diggings until yon were, and never meet another ot these gentlemen. He strayed down from the mountains, I suppose; but he woke up the 'Wrong family when he tackled us." Boys will be boys, and, under the circum stances, we can't blame the young fellows it they indulged in not a little boasting and self gloMficaticin. The panther was skinned and stretched tem porarily between two saplings. Then, chang ing the horses' position once more, and renewing the fire, the cousins returned to their blankets and bed of leaves. But not to sleep. Possibly their recent ad ve'llturt> had something to do with it, but the constant yelping, barking and howling of the pI'tlrie wolves was doubly irritating now. The pe1tiferous brutes seemed bent on making amplv awends for their brief silence when the lordly panther was prowling around. Each wolf seemed posse'!;sed of a dozen throats, each throat emitting a never-ending sound more diabo lical than all the rest combined. Even Walt, accus t omed as he was to these prairie concerts, could not sleep, but turned uneasily from side to side, finally sitting up with an ex plosive sentence far more forcible than pious. Worse than the panther, a blamed sight I" muttered Ross, disgustedly. "I'm going to 1 spoil a thousand or two of them screeching 1 whelps, if my powder only holds out!" "Don't you do it," interrupted Walt. "It'll only be time and ammunition wasted. I'll 1show you a little trick woi:th a d o zen o' tha t. Strange I didn' t think of trying it before. Better late than never, though. Take yoUI' llmrJe and cut off a chunk of g oat m eat." Wondering what new kink the y oung ranch:ero bad got hold of now, Ross obey e d. "'Now cut it up into chunks about the size .-of a hen's egg," continu e d Walt, turning out the content s of his po c kets upon the blanket. Look out for eyes, and whenever you see a I pair, throw a piece of meat at it." "You don't mean to quiet them by ii.ag1" and Arthur opened his big eyes in 1111-l!Alnishment. ! I mean to stuff one of them so full he 'Won't want anything more to eat in a hurry," laugl.Jed Walt. "What's one, where there's seventeen hundred million of the p esky brutes?" sniffed Ross viciously hurling a piece of meat at a pair ot glowing eyes. "Just give me a chauce, and I'll prove tbiit I'm not quite the fool you seem to think. There's more ways than one to kill a cat.' While speaking the young rancharo was not Idle. F10m an old cap-box he extracted half a dozen fish-hooks, and bound the shanks firmly together in two bunches, so that they a milliature &'l'apnel. He thrust the barb of ooe hook ftrmly into a piece of meat, then with a bit of string bound tile shanks in place. The other grapnel was secured in a like manner to the opposite side, but so that the two uncovered barbs turned in the contrary direction to the hooks first secured "Now then, my infernal machine ts all ," and Walt laughed aloud at the puzzled expression with :which the brothers regarded his contrivance. "Give the !our-legged night ingales a fresh bait, now." Three bits of meat, among which was the infernal machine, went flying out among the howling wolves. There was a scufl.l.e, a snapping snarl or two, then the hungry beasts squatted upon their haunches just upon the edge of the circle of li g ht. Well, I don't see anything-" began Ross, but then he did see! One of the coyotes started 1 forward with a most unearthly bowl, clawing at its open mouth with frantic energy. As this did not relieve it, it darted away as though striving to run from the biting devil in its throat, yelling at every leap, closely followed by the rest ajth such a deafening din that the boys involuntarily stop ped their ears. That poor devil will run nntil it chokes to d eath, and the rest will follow. By morning there'll not be a wolf, big or lit tle, within fifty miles of this. You can sle e p now all you want," said Walt. His words were true. Not another yelp of wolf was beard that night, and ten minutes after the hid eous chorus died away in the dis ta.nee the boys were soundly sleep i ng, CHAPTER IX. A CUNNING Tl):EFT. As tbough Rome hidden but p owerful was suddenly touch e d Arthur Duncan sat up, n ever more wide awake than at that moment. Yet be rubbe d his eyes again and again, as though reluctant to accept their testimony. The horses were not where they had been left when they lay down to sleep, after of the bowling coyotes. Like a revelation came back to him the memory of Pedrillo's warning and the wild adventures narrated by Walt Harvey only a few hours before. The horse-thieves had been at wc,rk, and they were left afoot upon the prairie. With that he gave Ross a punch in the short ribs with his fist and Walt a vigorous kick, crying: "You'd lay there snoring and let them steal the teeth out or your head, I do believe! up-the horses are stolen!" was enough. young rancbero arose with an exclamation that sounded very much like an oath, and one glance showing him that


'l'he Prairie R.a.nch. the three horses were not where he had left them just after the death of the panther, he toward the spot, closely followed by the brothers. "Keep back a little," he muttered, then bent low over the torn and trampled ground, as though he would read the sign and thus solve the mystery. He made a rapid survey of. the ground, then nodded for the brothers to advance. "Think they were stolen!" questioned Ar thur. "Looks that way, don't it1" wa.s the short reply. Maybe they broke loose and strayed away -sort o' stampeded, like," ventured Ross. "They couldn't have done that without making noise enough to have aroused us if we had been dead drunk, instead of only tired. No, tbey were helped away; and by old bands at the business, it I ain't mistaken. Lookthe picket-pins have been pulled up, not over to one side, as a horse would have done. Here are the footprints of the fellow that did it-a white man, almost certainly, because he wore boots with high heels. Now h e r e again. There are three sets of tracks, each one leading those ot a horse. That shows there were at least three men in the business-" "Or that one man led the horses away one at a time, to fool us into thinking there were three," said Ross, with a dry little laugh. "That may be," and as he spoke Walt cast a keen glance at his cousin. Get your tools and we will follow for a ways and see which is right." Tb:ngh the day bad not yet fairly dawned, the boys found little difficulty in following the trail over the moist ground as far as the creek, where it entered the water and was lost. It did not cross directly, nor could they discover any signs along the bank above nor below to show where the stolen animals had left the water. "No fool planned this job," said Walt, st length. I move we go back to camp and have breakfast. It won't be so very long until Pedrillo comes, and he can double discount me on a blind trail I believe our shortest way will be to wait for him." "I don't know about that," and Ross spoke In the same dry tone that bad attracted the young rnnchero's attention before. "You're too modest by half, cousin Walt. I'd back you against Pedrillo, in this job." "Thanks for the compliment, even though I don't deserve it." "The trouble is, you're entirely too modest, cousin Walt. Now I don't often bet, but in this case, I'd lay my Sharp against your Colt that you could, if you wold, tell us exactly where those thieves have taken our horses." "What are you driving at, &Lyway !" and Walt stared open-eyed at hfs conBln. "One would think you were hinting that I stole the animals I" I didn't say so, but, just for fun-didn't you move the horses after we went to sleep, last night!" I pledge you my word that I did not touch the horses after we lay down and went to sleep, last night. Hark! turkeys, as I'm a sinner." -From the further side of the creek came the loud gobble-gobble, tweet-tweet, followed a II\Oment later by. a confused fl.uttering and. flapping of wings, as though the birds had just detected the proximity of dangerous neighbors, and had taken to wing." "It's a pity," observed Ross, stirring up the fire. "If we only had our hors e s, we migh t have one of those turke y-chases you have said so much about." I said I never touched the horses, but I own up to t ouching the lariats after you went to sleep," said Walt, with a bal1-sheepi s b laugh. "I thought l?d hide the horses and give you a little scare. They're hitched a few rods down the creek. We can have a try for the turkeys yet, though it would be better if we had dog11." "I knew you did it, and I'll tell you why,' laughed Ross. "When you pulled up the picket that held your horse, you knelt down on your right knee, and left a plain imprint of that hole in your pants. Then I saw that your foot was the sarne size as the track, and that the left heel was a little turned over. These fac!s, taken with your acting so cool, instead of rip ping and cursing, were enough to convince me that you were the thief." "And that puts the joke on me, instead," laughed Walt. "Well, I'll be more careful tbe next time. Now, let's get up the horses and have a try at those turkeys." With rapid steps he led the way to where b e had hidden the horses, but as he passed the line of bushes be' stopped with an exclamation of astonishment. The animals were gone I ''We'll be too late-hurry up," said Arthur, impatiently. Where did you put the horses1'1 Right here-but they're gone-somebody must have stolen them!" Ross burst iuto a hearty laugh, and Walt looked at him with a sudd e n Had be 'been doubly tricked! For the moment he believed that Ross had been awake when the were shifted, and then, watching hit chauce, had again removed them. "Upon my word, I did uot," Ross said, an X7cring his cousin's thought. "I never knew had been touched until Arthur awoke 'lO. Don't you know where they are!" "No more than you. I left them here. Som body must have stolen them in good, ca.;. time.


The Prairie Ranch. In eilenoe they examined the ground by the Int beams of the sun. There was only one clew. Close to where one of the horses bad ltood, two footprint.a were clearly outlined. That these were made by moooasined feet, even the boys could see and as they all wore heavy riding-boota, beyond a doubt these telltale marks were left by the thief. But how bad be removed themt There was the puzzle. There was only the one set of tracks, leading up from the water, but none going away from the 1pot. "I made that trail when I brought tlle horses here," said Walt. "Somebody bas stolen them, that is clear; but how 1 there' s not the sign ofa trail, that I can see. It looks as though they had taken wings and flown awayl" "Maybe they w ere soft-sbod," suggested Ross. "It their feet were well muffled, they would leave no tr11il beyond bending down the grass, and the falling dew would soon straighten that up again." "It may be--it must be, for there's no other way it can be explained, as I see. If PedrillQ only brings out the dogs-" "I hear the cart and hoof-strokes-there they comet" cried Arthur, peering through the bushes. "And Pedrillo with them! I'd rather lose a dozen horses than have him know tbis, after wbat he said yesterday," and the young rl\llch ero bit his lip angrily. But there was no belp for it, and he had to face the music with tbe b est grace he could summon. Pedrillo s aid very little; indee d, the brothers thought he acted admirably ; but Walt saw the ,quizzical light in his eye s and the slight curl of the lip, and kne w tbe buckaro was enjoying bis discomfiture to the full "It was no green hand that did this," was his docision after a careful examinatio n of the ground. Only the nose of a hound can uo ra vel this." Walt had reached the same conclusion, thoug h reluctantly enough. He knew that he would have to bear many a r ough j est about his at tempted practical joke and the strange manne r in which it recoiled upo n his own h e ad, bu_!; thtlre wa.q no other c ourse left him. It Pedrillo could make p.othing of the only the sa gacity of a well-trained hound could solve the mystery. So the carcasses of the antelopes and the skin of the panther were put in the w a gon, and the cousins followed suit, returning home in a far different humor from that in which they had ridden forth. Walt sprung out of the wagon the moment they arrived, and started, saddle in hand, to the stable, to secure a fresh mount. He opened the door, then start.ed back, with a cry of amazement. Artl:ur and Ross ran to bis side and-be/or11 tM1n ood tMw horses/ I promised to pay my debt, senor," the. low, soft voice of Pedrillo uttered in his ear. "You see-I keep my word!" As he spoke, Pedrillo touched his horse with the spur, and was beyond reacb before Walt realized the truth, as he did the next moment. His first impulse was one of anger, but as the full force of the joke burst upon his mind, his hearty laugh joined that of his cousins, though Pedrillo kept out of his way for several days thereafter, A few words will explain. The horse-breaker had take n the d0gs to the ranch, waittld until all was quiet, then out and rode back to the camp, which he reached just as Walt was removing horses. Then, waiting until all were asleep, Pedrillo muffl e d the h orses hoofs, left his footprints as a clew, then led the h o rses home and put them in the stable without giving the alarm, thanks to the dogs knowing him so well. It was many days ere Walt heard the last of his practical joke. CHAPTER X. l'OR A K.A.Rltll:T. As a general thing, the stock grower dispose9 of cattle, ei ther beef or draught, early in the spring, about the time of the general branding of the last year's produce, but there are o cca sional exceptions, one of which transpired just at tbis time. A government contractor was in urgent need of a h eavy supply of beeves, and as was the n but scantily suppli e d he made Mr. Harvey an unusually liberal off e r for five hun dred h ead of good beef cat tle, delivered at River Bend a station on the Kansas Pacific Railroad. It is needless to say that the off e r was promptly accepted, and the rancb ero at once set his men to work !!Dthering up his cattle and sorting out the requi site number of four or five year old steers. This was no easy job, coming so cl ose after the Fall "drive," but it was succ essfully accompl ished at l e ng t h. Not a littJ., to the delight of Arthur and Ross Dunca n Mr. Harvey decided to send Walt in chage of the cattle to River Bend. Of c o urse they were res olved to form part of the T hat there would be no little trouble and p o si tive d iscomfort, they were well aware, but a m onth of prairie life bad hardened and given them self-confidence. T,bey would m ee t the diffi c ulti e s and dangers half-way, and fight their way through. The usual allowance is f<'ur herders to every hundred of cattle in the drove, but upon this occasion, owing to the scarcity of hands and"'8 the route to be followed was not a difflmlt ott'e, the company consisted of the three cousins, p.,


The Prairie Ranch. u, drlllo and six vaqueros, whose time wasup and and from three to eight feet in depth, tbll cen whose aid would not be required after this drive ter of each being a mass of mii-y mud. Thi1 nntil spring opened. They were to be paid off mud was very tenacious, and as the hol'!lel at River Bemi, when the cattle were turned were forced to pass through one of the wal over to the contractor. lows, the lifting of each hoof was followed by a As may readily be imagined, it was no easy crack as loud as that of a pistol 1 "1sk te tear those fl ve hundred and odd cattle There was no choice but to cross this vast away from the grouods where they had been "hog-fen,11 since to skirt It would entail the born and reared. For a little while they would loss of two days. proceed quietly, but then, as though the move-Until near the center all went all, but it ment was preconcerted, they would break and was easily seen that trouble was brewing. A scatter in every direction, seeking to regain steer would almost bog in one of the wallows. their old stamping grounds and the associates Others would press upon him, using horns from whom they bad beenseparatt>d. Nor was quite freely, pushing, goring and lowing wita it until after the whole fprce of the stock,farm growing excitement. bad turned out, that the drove was fairly start-The experienced herders saw this, and Imo.,... ed on its way to market. ing that a reckless stampede would certaia)o1o-"Now it will be all plain sailing," said Walt, follow, the word was pas sed, and as they sat around the fire, eating their breakupon rear and flan ks, they plied their will fast in the e arly dawn. "After the first day with furious yells. Since the stampede wa11i"' and night out, we never have any serious evitn ble, it should be turned to go o d acco1.nt, trouble. We may lose a few bead by straying, if they could only give it the desir e d directl'on. or in the sloughs, but that we expect, ana put The yells and lashing proved sufficient. 'With in enough extra head on starting to make up previous bellowings the cattle plun g ed madly for the losses on the way." forward in full career. Close behind came the But the young rancbero, though speaking riders to prevent a change of course, but a few from experience, was no true prophet on this minutes of that rec.!d ess riding was sufficient to occasion. Instead ef being at the end, the sati s fy the veriest glutton of tbem a!L Before troubles and dangers of that trip had not yet the middle of the hog-wallow prairie was begun. reached, only three men k ept tbe saddle. The choice of two trails was offered them, Arthur and Ross were thrown into tbe center one about fifty miles longer than the other. of the same fouls melling wallow by their This, the lougest, was the route generally pur-stumbling horses, but fortunately neither was sued, as it avoided tbe low lands; but the seamuch injured. Walt easily secured their ani son had been unusually dry and free of rain, mals, and remounting, the boys advanced with and Walt feared the cattle would suft'er for more caution. want of water along the longer route, and to The hog-wallow prairie was passed oveor guard against this, he chose the other trail. without s e rious accid ent, bat then it was founo. As the sun rose the cattle were gently started that, instead of their troubles being ended, the'ir from their feeding, and driven lei surely along had just begun. until noon, when tbere was a halt for rest and Just beyond the hog-wallows lay an exte dinner. Then on again until near sun s et, each sive slough, only, nearly twenty feet lower halt being made .wbere there was plenty of wa-than the former level, and consequently hidden ter and grazing, if po s sible. The horses were from view until one was fairly upon the verge staked out at night, and the ten m e n kept of the steep, crumbling baak. watch and watch. 'fhat is. five of them were Straight on the cattle plunged, down the on guard until eleven o'eloc:\r, when they were bank, over the thin line of reeds and bushes and relieved by the other squad until half-past two; into the watt-ry ooze. Tbere was no such thing then tbe first watch came on again, rousing the as stopping upon the brink. 'those in the rear others at the first break of dawn to prepare pushed blindly on, each taking its scrambling breakfast, so that the day's drive could begin leap without hesitation. about sunrise. Hard upon the heels of the cattle came the After the second day's drive Arthur and horsemen. They couid see tbat there was Ross were inclined to grumble. .AJl that day water and mud abead, but could make out the cattle had plodded on witb provoking liLi; le more, thanks to tbe crowded cattle that q n i M n es, rnd nothing .occnrr ei t ies, a "hog-wallow" pede was at an end. prairie. Tbe soil was black as ink. As far as I Where cattle. could cross, so coultl the eye could see, were countless qeprer.sions in Thus reasoned the herders, and tbey took the t;he audaM, (A-()111)-t'llV"I to six yards in diameter, plunge, with shouts of reckless merriment.


The Pralrle Ranch. Pedrillo had 1evered both eyeballs with hill trusty knife! 'l'hefr tune waa quickly changed. The pue lng nttle bad trodden the never secure bottom Into a perfect quagmire, and the horses sunk to their bellies in clinging mud, the water reach-CHAPTER XI. withers. T H E s T A M p ED JC. With a warning shout, Walt and Pedrillo THE: boys had watched this tragi-comical threw themselves out of their saddles, as the scene with breathless interest, for the m oment only chance of saving their horses from being almost forgetting their own uncomforthble 1mothered. Their example was speedily fol-situation, and quite oblivious to the fact that lowed by all, but the situation did not seem at any instant one or all of them might be as. much improved. sailed in the self-same manner by some of the They atood breast-deep in the mud and waplunging, struggling cattle, whose beads and ter, forty feet from the bank, and hardly able horns and wriggling line of back alone showed to advance an inch at a time, while their strug-above the mud-thickened water. gles, by softening the mire beneath them, sunk A united cheer, followed by a hearty burst them deeper at every step. of laughter, greeted the blinding of the in Nor was this the only danger. Close ahead furieted steer and the manne r in of them were a dozen or more bogged cattle. which Pedrillo scooted along the surface, As though angered by the shouts and struggles pausing only when his head made a deep im bebind them, several of these long-horned upon the soft clqy of the shelving bank. furies bad turned around, and were now strain-This explosion was natural enough, but it ing every nerve to get at their natural en& bade fair to end disegreeal;>ly. Whethe r mad mies, their eyes wickedly glowing as they dened beyond endurance by the s ound s of the 1norted, lowed and shook their heavily-armed hated voices, or becaus e instinct told tbem heads. tbat it would be easier to regain sol i d ground Whether cattle can navigate better in a bog by turning back than to plunge end flounder than horses, I do not pretend to decide, but straight on, two steers turned and b eaded this much is clear: the long-horns were mo-straight for the cousins. The y saw their dange r mentarily gaining upon Pedrillo and bis horse, in the recent experience of Pedrillo and for tbese two chancing to be the nearest them. getting all else save the one ardent wish to The buckato might have ecaped, but he would feel solid earth once more beneath their feet, not desert his idolized black, cheering it on the way those boys did s end the mud aud and guiding it by the halter, at imminent dan-water flying behind them, would not have disger to himself from the plunging hoofs, paying graced a stern-wheel steamboat stuck upon a no attention to the warning yells of his com-sand-bar. rades. Pedrillo saw and realized their peril, on

l The Prairie Ranch. 11 neck of bis mustang, then pulled steadily upon It while the animal floundered toward land, alackening every few moments to allow it to breathe. This course, with slight variations, was followed with the others, and by mid-aftern<><>D the last horse reached terra firma. Several of the steers were extricated in the same manner, but there were balf a score left in the bog, to escape or die as fate willed. The safety of the main drove could not be hazarded on the desperate chance of saving so few. "You see now why we started with a s i :ore or two of extra cattle," said Walt, as he gave the word to advance "We always calculate to lose about one-twentieth on the road, eithe r by straying or The few rescued cattle were driven up the edge of the slough to a point beyond where the others bad crossed, and by dint of hard, per severing work, were forced to take to the water. The riders plunged boldly in after them, and though the crossing was hard work, one and all gained the further bank in safety. Whenever I drive cattle over that trail again, may I stick in the middle of that slough until I take root I" growled Walt, shaking bis clinched fist at the treacherous bog. None of the party were in a very amiable humor. Plastered with unsavory mud from head to foot; boots, pockets, ears nose and mouth full of the same, while every nerve and muscle ached dully with the terrible strain they had been subjected to, they surely were not much to blame if tbey felt cross, snappi s h and generally disagreeable. There was no time for rest and renovation. The cattle were scattered far and wide, and it was absolutely necessary to collect them before nightfall You two had better keep right on after tbe main body," said Walt, to his cousins. "Don't press them. They'll stop when they come to good gr>izing, I guess." Both Ross and Arthur were quite willing. Though no shirks, they did not relis}l the idea of a long and reckless ride after what they had passed through. If the reader bas ever Iidden with bis clothes full of slimy, sticky mud, he can appreciate their objections tQ a race after wild, fleet and 0bstinate cattle. An hour later the brothers fpnnd tbemsruves upon the bank of a prairie stream, along which the cattle fell to grazing. Without a word they rode into the water and fell to cleansing themselves, their clothes, and horses. The water was cool, but they did not mind that. After a deal of vigorous scrubbing they emerged and, building a fire in a sheltered nook among the stunted trees, stripplld and bung up their garments to dry. It not long afterward that Walt and bis men made their appearance, driving before them tbe long-horns. It bad been no very difficult task ro collect them, jaded 1U1 they were by the trying run across the bog-wallow prairie and the killiI)g struggle through the slough, and they were willing enough to join the main herd in grazing upon the nutritioua gras s. Walt, Pedrillo and the herders speedily foJ.. lowed the example of the brothers and washed away the thickest of the mud, then crowded around tte comfortable fire in nature's own dress, while their garments were drying. Goed -humor was once more restored, for all believed that their trials were over. Jokes and j e sts flew from lip to lip, but none were barbed with malice, and all were received in the same spirit as delivered. As none of the party bad broken their fast since early dawn, preparations were at once begun for an early supper. But the fates were against them. That night was to be one of fas'ting, amid its other horrors. "Seems to me it's gettiag mighty chilly, all of a sudden," said Ross, crowding closer to the tire. Ain't going to have a storm, are wet" A general glance was cast upward, where the sky could be seen through the tree-tops. Not a cloud was visible; the was blue, the snn was shining clear and brightly. The idea of a storm seemed preposterous. And yet-the air was growing chilly" There's a big fire up north," said Arthur, coming back from the open ground. The smoke is black as ink-" Both Pedrillo and Walt sprung to their feet, the same idea written upon both faces. They hastened through the bushes, and one glance showed them the truth. Not a mile diBtant rose a huge black cloud, clinging to the earth and rising to the very heavens; a cloud, but not one born of fire. "A northernorther!" they both shouted, and rushing back to camp, Wolt added: "On with your clothes-quick! do you want to free.e to death1'' Not so Pedrillo. Naked as he was, he to where his horse was picketed, and wrenching up the pin, strove to lead the terrified animal under shelter. Then-words are powerles. to describe the fearful scene. The tornado burst with a deafening roar and bowling shrieks. The boys were t..hrown ft:i.t. The firebrands were caught up and hurled far away through the trees. The light of the sun was blotted out, and darkness the most intense enveloped the earth. Breath was taken away -the end of the world seemed at hand. It was but the first breath of the norther fol lowed by a silence and lull almolt awful in itt startling contrast. But Pedrillo took inst.ant advt utage of it. "Finish dressing I" he cried. "Then secare tbe horses!"


The Prairie Ranch. There was time given them for the first portion or the advice, and, numbed in every limb, all hurriedly donned such clothing as hacl not beeu torn from their grasp. The cattle and horses, no less than their mas ters, knew what that furious blast was the ad vance guard of, and no sooner did the lull come, than a blind, headlon g stampede took pla.ia. With heads down and tails up, the cattle, bel lowing furiously, broke away and plunged through the shallow stream. The horses cower ed under the first blast, then when the lull came, reared back and tore their pickel( from the soil. With almost human screams of ter ror, they followed the stampeded cattle. "I'll follow, catch and stake out the horses for you," cried Pedrilio, leaping upon his mua tang, half-naked as he was. "Come onl" He plunged through the stream-the six herders followed. Walt restrained his "It would be death to you," be sahi, earnest l y. "Yo u must lie close-" The x:est of the words were unheard or unut tered. The norther was upon them in all its fury. A sheet of rain that almost beat them to the earth-then a pelting volley of ragged hailstones-followed by a blinding drift of I n OW. Walt grasped the blankets and crawled under the lee or a pile of brush, closely followed by bis cousins. Huddling close together, holding the edges of the blankets tightly ben eath them, they lay with the terrible storm beating upon them, growing colder with each passing minute, nntil they began to fear that the very blood iu their veins would turn to iee. Walt shuddered as he thought of the hours, even days, that might pass before the norther exbausted itself. He had known one to last a week without a minute's intermission, What It this should be such a one! God help them all, it it was! CHAPTER XII. TROUBLE BREWING. ONLY those who have experienced the icy breath of a full-blown norther can appreciate the pluck shown by Pedrillo, the horse-tamer, in leaving tolerable coTer to chase the runaway h orses, while be was only half-clad, and those garmonts already wet through.' It is not from its intense cold that the norther is so dangerous and so greatly dreaded, for it is very rare that the mercury falls to zero. It is the sudden change that lends it terror. At one hour the sky may be clear aud unclouded, the sun shining warmly, tbe air soft and balmy, with the thermometer ranging about 70; and the next hour the may be far below freezing point. The duration of a norther may be one hour, or it may be one hundred. They come witho u t warning and\ go almost as suddenly. Pedrillo knew-none better-the great risk he was runniog, but he was that rara ams, a thoroughly faithful and trustworthy Mexican. He was the real, though Walt was the nominal commander of the drive. The moment th0y reached River Bend, his responsibility would cease, but until then, Pedrillo felt t hat he was accountable for the long-horns. With those hurried directions to 1he su herders, then, he dashed across the shallow st.ream, and thundered after the dustrenveloped cattle. Even in that thrilling and anxious m9ment, he felt a certain grim Fatisfaction in the thought that the stampeding longhorn were heading directly toward their market. After all, if the norther did not rage too long, it might p;ove a positive benefit by saving a day or two or difficult driving. Pedrillo did not need to urge bis horse a l ong. Scarcely less terrified than those in advance, i t was fleeing from the cruel norther at top speed. llut faster still came the cutting blast, bearing upon its wings the pelting rain, the driving hail and the blinding snow. T h e horse tamer bowed before the bitter blast, but only for a moment. Close before him ran two o f the escaped horses, and he only thought of self-imposrd duty. Ranging alongside, he bent over and caught the long trailing picket rope, hastil y wrapping it around the pommel of bis saddle, reining in his own horse. At the pluck o f tue stout lariat, the horse halted, almost thrown to the ground. Pedrillo dismounted and drove the iron picket pin firmly in tbe ground, then hastenrd on in pursuit of the other horse. But here he was foiled in a manner Jitt l o short of marvelous. As he forged alongside and stooped to gras p the trailing r ope the horse swerved sharpl y and he missed bis aim. The next moment Pedrillo heard something whistle shrilly past his ear, and the estamperlo gave a l!barp neig h of pain and plunged headlong to the ground. As Pedrillo hastened to t.ecure his prize, h e found that death was before him. The pointed picket-pin of iron was buried in the animal'11 brain I Ji:st how it ocourred, cannot be clearly ex plained. Probably the pin caught upon som e root or stub, and being forcibly jerked free, the elastic lariat cast the picket-pin far ahead, and cbauce directed its point. It may be remarked in passing that t h is i s one of the most serious danger;; attending a stampede of h o r ses that have bee n staked out. Ugly wounds, and often death, are t h e con sequences. The cold see med to be g rowing momentarily m o r e intense. The sno w, m in11:led wit h cuttinc


The Prairie R11.neb. 28 lleet, came down in blinding One could not see Qbjects ten yards In advance. Pedrillo was chilled to the bone, but be did not flinch. Feeling all confidence in bis horse, be bowed to the blast and gave fre e rein. Teri minutes later the black mustang wheeled sharply to ,the right and plunged into a mass of dense undergrowth. Almost brushed from the saddle, Pedrillo drew rein. Against either leg he felt the quivering pressure of living fle sh, and stooping, he found his horse bad pressed up two h orses Eyesight was of little avail, but his ears told him enough. His mustang bad sought shelter from the storm undei:, the lee of a timber is land-the very same to which the instinct of the stampede d h o rses bad brought them. Pedrillo dismounted, and, ns well ns his be numbed condition would admit, tied up the horses he bad so strangely stumbled upon. Then he returned and made the black mustang lie down, a,nd curling himself up between its legs, crowding close to its stomach. he awaited the coming of davrn or the lulling of the norther, with what philosophy he could mus ter. Fortunately for all concerned, the storm was as short lived as it was furio11s, else another tragedy would have b een added to the count less scores that form the dark side of Western life. By midnight the snow ceased falling, and the winrl die d away. Before daybreak, the atmosphere was barely at freezing point, and before noon, every flake .of snow had vaniehed before the warm breath of the glowing sun. Pedrillo did not wait for day, though. As soon as the storm broke, be secured the horses and set out for camp, uttering, a long, shrill yell every few moments, as a signal for the six herders. Before he bad retraced bis steps two miles, he bad picked them all up, and together they rode back to the camp. Their loud did not receive any answer, and Pedrillo plunged into the thicket fearing the worst. His suspense was not of long dura tion. He saw the blankets, and a& his trem bling hands grasped them, the cousins awoke! Chilled and stupefied by the intense cold, they had fallen asleep in each other's arms, nor knew that the storm was ended until Pedrillo awakened them. Had the norther continued, that sleep would have been the sleep of death; as it was, they did.pot even suffer from a cold or a sore throat in The first thing vras to build a fire, which pa tient perseverance finally effected, and then to boil some coffee. This, and a generous break fast, quickly removed all signs of stiffness, and when the sun arose, it found all concerned as &0und and gay-spirited as ever in life. Without much delay the party mounted and eet out in pursuit of the stampeded long-home, overtaking the hindermost of the drove aboai noon. These were lallgufdly feeding, not yet recovered from the fatigue of their blind, head long race. Starting them on, the brothers and the herder whose horse had been killed, kepi them going, while the others set off to collect the estrays. It was not until oon of the following day that. the entire herd was coll e cted. Half a dozen were missing, the majority of which were dead, in most cases, having literally run them selves to death. You see now why we put in so many extra head," said Walt, as they went into camp for the last time before reaching their market. "We lose m ore or Jess on every drive, though, I must confess, this trip has been an unusually tough one." But its trials were fairly over. By noon of the next day, the lively little town of River B end was reached, and before sunset, the cattle were turned over to the contractor, and Walt bad the money safe in his belt. There was little to be seen in the town, though Pedrillo managed to find a lively game of mont. that he!d him captive until his pockets were turned wrong side out, and after paying off the six vaqueros, Walt and bis cousins sought out a resting-place for the night in a rude, ill-kept hotel-but the belit the town could boast. Knowing that there were many rough CU& tomers around, the young rancbero had cau tioned his men about divulging the fact of hi1 being in possession of so much mcney, but hi1 precautions were useless. The contractor was well-known, in addition to the fact that lie was buying for the Govern ment, as well as the fa c t that it was his custom to pay cash down. Still, the truth might have been concealed, so careful had Walt been, but for one thing. Wearied by their hard wprk of tha past week, the cousins sought their beds early, but near midnight, the young ranchero was

The Prairie Ranch. clnmk, an' didn't rightly ll:now what be wu Ying-" "Sol there's been talk about the money?" I'm afeard so, boss. Some ugly-looking critters got one o' the boys drunk, an' was p11mpin' him, when I lit onto 'em. I smoked thar trick, an' tried the best I knowed how to pick a fuss onto 'em, but they slid off afore I could think o' any excuse for to bounce 'em. I 'lowed you'd ought to_know, an' so tuck the liberty o' comin' to say, ef you want, we'll all aee you safe home to the ranch-" "Many thanks, Tom, but I don't believe there's any need. We're four, well armed and mounted, and now you'vo put us on our gluard, we can take care of ourselves. But mind: you're to come back to us in the spring." "Ef I'm alive I'll be thar-surel" The honest f ello w _departed, 9.nd Walt lay down again. But his sleo3ping moments were few indeed, despite his weary bones. CHAPTER XIIL A P'.LA.USIBLE RASCAI., WALT HARV1l1Y did a great deal more thinking than sleeping the remainder of that night. He had over eight thousand dollars belted around his waist; enough to reward a score of murders where life was at a higher premium than here. Had he been some dozen years older, his course would have been simple enough. He would have at once sought out the six men be had just paid off, and with them as escort, ridden hard for home. But Walt was too young to think more than once of this prudent plan. To his hot blood this prudence savored strongly of cowardice. By the time day dawned, Walt had decided to say nothing of the midnight visit aud warn ing to any save Pedrillo. Not that he doubted the good-will or courage of his cousins, but lie did their self-control. We will return the way we came," he said to the horse-tamer, as they looked to the animals. "There's less chance for an ambu h there, an'd that's all need care for. In a fair fight we four ought to be able to clean out a dozen of these hounds." "You think they will fight?" and Pedrillo cast a meaning glance toward Ross and .Arthur Duncan. "I know it," said Walt, with a quietempha1is. "There's not a drop ot white blood in the 1tock they come from. Not a word more mind. The boys were willing enough to leave River Bend. Bustling though the station was, it p oss es se d no attractions equal to the wild, free life of the stock-farm, and the brothers were in high glee as tbey rode oilt of town and gave their mettled horses free rein for a race OTer Ula springy turf. After that first bunt, Pedrillo took t'be lflll4 and maintained it until the noon halt. Watt was unusually loquacious, and kept the brothers so busy discussing the plans offered fQJ' their future amusement, that they never once no ticed the roundabout course taken by Pedrillo, he never once passing within a quarter ot a mile of any timber, undergrowth or prairie "draw" large enough to affo:Pd. an ambush for an enemy, though by such caution the length of their journey bade fair be almost doubled. But the forenoon passed away without any signs of the expected enemy, and real..izing the importance ot keeping their horses in rnadiness for a bit of hot and stern work, Walt called a halt beside a narrow, shallow stream. The banks were too low to cover an enemy, and the level plane was open to their view tor a mile or more in every direction. The meal was scarcely begun, when Ross ex claimed: "That fellow's in a mighty hurry, whoever he isl" Riding at full speed, and apparently follow ing thei r trail, came a horseman. Pedrillo and Walt interchanged quick glances, but said not a word. The rider was alone. U their suspicions were true, there was ample time to act. The stranger dismounted and staked out his horse, taking off saddle and bridle, then ap proache d the fire, and, squatting down, coolly helped himself to a cup of boiling hot coffee, a chunk of meat and corn-bread, with never a word or nod of greeting. Ross and Artbur smile d audibly at his free-and-easy impudence, but if their laugh was hew-d it was not notice d. The stranger's dress and appearance were in perfec t keeping with his cool assurance. Buckskin pants and moccasins; red flannel shirt, open at the throat, soft felt hat, the brim of which drooped almost to his shoulders; all of which were much the worse tor wear. A brace or revolvers and a stout knife were belted aronnd his waist. His hair and beard w ere long and iron-gray, es near as could be told through the thick covering of sand and dust. His eyes were small, black and remark ably keen. '' I began to think I'd never catch up with you," were his .first words,.noddlng toward the young ranchero. "You followed WI, then, from townf' "Yes. How' the old man-your father?" "Lively-when I last saw him. You knew him1" "I used to. We were like two brothers, in the old times-before you made your appear ance, though. I saw you come in town yesterday-. Asked your name, and found out tha' ;:you were the son of my old friend, Frank H4r


The Pralrf.e Ranch.

The Prairie Ranch. and tbe fellow's arms were pinned tightly to his side as be was burled heavily backward. Walt sprung upon him and tore the weapons from his belt. CHAPTER XTV. A Pfil1fOSOPHICAL PRISOJlo'ltB, ALL this was done so swiftly and adroitly that before Arthur or Duncan could in terfere or help, Pardon Goodman lay bound and disarmed at the feet of Walt and Pedrillo. To say that they were surprised gives no idea of their amazement at this sudden change, and, to them, inexcusable outrage. The young rancbero saw something of this in their and, true to bis straightforward nature, be set himself right in their estimation without any circumlocuti o n, first telling them of the warning he bad received on the night be fore. "At first glance I bad no doubt that this fel low was one of the scoundrels T o m Davis told me about, and if you wLI only take the trouble to look back and recall his lo o ks, bis words and actions, I believe you will agree with me. Else why was he so anxious to learn all about the money and such things! "But that isn't all. Peo.rillo, l ere, recog nized him, and is willing to swear that be is none other than Black Bob, the big1 est scoun drel this side o' monkey heaven. settled it. Of course, there was only one reason for his sticking so close to ns-the mon y I carry; anti, equally of cour se, I made up my mi n d be shouldn't have it. We watched <,w chance, and here is the result." Both Arthur and Ross were C0111"1-i1Ced before the young ranrhero concluded, t..00 they eyed the prisoner with far differeni f&. 'frillow listened with a strange intentness, al'auseti: "but you're barking up the wrong tT.,,e, nevertheless. I'm no more Bluck Bob thm you are, and, if we both live Jong enough, yo\I. shall Rpologize to me for calling me b9 l hn.t name. I told you once that I am an old i.nd Joved friend of your father. What must lt.s ne if I am the rascal you say!" "It will be luck] fur rou if you can prove that," said Watt, v't4 a short laugh. Take me befvl'O! him, and if be don't say that you are u-tiling an unmitigated ass of yourself, I'll OV'ln. cp to being Black BoL or any; ether scoundr.l y:m may choose to ca!J me." "I intend tu take you tbere--dead or alive," "l'as th" b\ni:;t response. "It you have any 'lllldentaadiug with your fri<>Dds, pray thai *"'Y you, for I pledge yon my' word, that at the first sfgn of trouble, or an attempt.I rescue, I'll blow your brains out." "Yo u are very kind, young man. May I ask anothe r favor! J f you will brace me up against DIY saddle, and fill a._nd light my pipe for me--" "I bate to refuse a dear of my father anything, but as we J?reak camp at once, what you ask is out of the question," said Walt, with mock regret. D !.ermined to be on the safe side, Walt and Ped:dllo bad resolved to push on through tbe night a few mi1es further, hoping thus to tunlly rid themselves of whatever confederates the priso11er might bave lurkiug around. The horses bad bad nearly two h ours grazing, and were rested sufficiently for the purpose. The camp-fire was allowed to llurn down low. although it still gave out enrngh light to serv .. as a beacon for several miles aro und. If, 1111 tbey susp ecte d, the prison e r bad friends lurk ing arouuQ. in wait !or his signal, thPy would probably lie low be.vond range, suspect anything had gone wrong, for several hours, a' least. P e drillo caught up the horses and prepared them for the rpad at a goodly distance from the fire. The legs of the prisoner were un bound, and at tbe muzzle of a pistol be wallred out to his horse. Mounting, his ankles firmly tied together beneath bis horse's belly, and the little cavalcade ode silently away through tbe night, nor drew rein until the y wne half a dozen miles from the scene of the capture. There was only one in the party that slept cc>mfortably that night. That one was Pardon Goodman, the prisoner. More than once he laughed low and softly, and, until sharply or dered to hold bis tongue, he cracked jokes and told marvelous stories exnotly as he did during the afte rnoon ride. Wal t could not understand it. Could it be that Peclrillo was mistaken? that this was real ly an honest traveler, a friend of his father? Or was all this dry mirth a counterfeit! Did he hope to throw them off tbeir guard, and thus gain an opportunity to escape? or were his friends in front, and his mirth caused by the haste in which bis intended victims were pressing to their fate! It was all a puzzle, and when day dawned, Walt was no nearer the true solution than at first. The prisoner was still the gayest of the party at bre1 tkfast, and his grim jests made even Pe drillo smile more than once. But t ime was cut to W!lste, and as the sun arose, all was in readiuess and they resumed their journey. It was decided to halt for noon upon the hog. wallow prairie, and in hopes of reaching a bet. ter point for erossing the tbq hon


The Prairie Ranch. 1barply t.o the left. But it was fated they were not to cross o'ver without an interrup tion. A clear, ringing sliut to their e ars, and a single horseman was seen spurring along the o p posite bank, swingi n g his h a t in great excitement. Walt drew close to the side 9f bis prisoner, and the sharp click of his pistol sp o ke loude r than words. It that Is one of ,Your friends, Black B o b, rm sorry for you," he said, with a grim em phasis. "To my knowledge I never saw him before In my life," was the cool and prompt r e sponse. It is Dan Keywood," muttered Pedrillo, as the horseman came nearer. Walt, when convincerl that the horse-breaker bad spoken the truth, uncocked and replaced bis pistol with an air of posi tive relief. H e could now recognize the features of the man, and knew him for one who bad,-until tha t same spring, served bis fathei;:as herdsman. His only fault was that of being too hot-headed and prone to fighting. After he had soundly thra shed one -half of his f ellow vaqueros, Mr. H arve y felt compelled to discharge him, but not until he had secured him a berth with Mr. Jones. 1 "Come on over I" crie d the man, while y e t some distance below them. Tbey's a man mired down thar-1 can't git him out alo ne. Make haste, or he's a g one Case, sure!". "It may be a trap for you-look out," said the prisoner, in a quick, earnest tone. Walt glanced at hiin curiously, and saw, or fancied that be saw, genuine une asinoos in bis eyes. What could cause this, sava a.lear tha t this re-enforcement would render his e scape more difficult, if not quite impossible1 rose from the reeds and grass just above W!llt, and a lasso whistled through the air. Instinct;.. ive'y he threw up an arm to guard Ws h e ad, but in vain The noof'El settle d around him and he was plucked f orcibly from the saddle. D a n K e y wood in stantlv sprung to the ground and h olding a cocked revolver at the young ra.n c h e r o 's b e a d motione d back Ws friends. "Halt! at the fust move I'll blow the bov's brains to thunder!" he yelled, adding an oath to give bis words weigh t As be sp o ke, four men sprung from their ambus h in one of the ho g -wall o ws, and ha stened to join biw. The man who bad pretended to be mired, flou nd ered to Fpore and ran up to bi3 friends and half a of pistois covered P e drillo and the brothers. "Fire and charge-" began Walt, but K ey. wood clapped hi s band over the lad's mouth, and r epeatad his threat to blow out bis brains at the first move toward a r e scue "Make 'em turn me loo s e!" yelled Pardon Go odman. I'm Black Bob-" "Ride up b erel Ef they try to stop ye, I'll kill this cub, cried with a sounding oath. Pedrillo and bis young friends were helpleSll. He knew that K e y wood would certainly keep bi s bloody threat, and they cquld only submit. With a mocking their late captive r o de away and j oine d the villa ins. "Cut me loo se-quick!" be muttere d, with an oath. "We musn't l e t the m c r i tters git away, or they'll h e v the hull country down on us. Give me that whelp's pistols, an' I'll stan' by ye to the!" His bonds were cut, and, leaping to the ground, he snatched the revolvers from Walt' belt, cocking them both. CHAPTER XV. Bring him along, Pedrillo-and watch him .-Jose!'' he cried, plunging into the muddy water and floundering across the slough. How, Dan! Who is it bogged1 Can't you rope him A FR IE ND IN NEED. out1" MATrERS looked black indeed for. oil! It's Van Fassen. The fool would cross at friends. the old ford, though I knowed they wasn' t no Walt Harvey lay helpless beneath the crush bottom. Hil! critter got stuck, an' somehow ing pressure of Dan Keywood's knees, the Van got his leg twisted onder the brute, an' muzzle of a co c ked revolver almost touching cain't Lut jist keep hls head above water. I bed bis temple. P e drillo, Ross and Arthur were to shoot the boss, or he' d 'a' rolled Van onder. held at bay by the leveled pistols of the five We tried the rope, but 'twouldn't do. an' I was ruffians-not counting in the old fellow who jist settin' off a'ter help, when you came in had declared himself the notorious outlaw and light." d e sperado, Black Bob. Though nominally free While giving this explanation, Keywood l e d and armed, the y were well-nigh as helpless aa the way at a rapid trot along the edge of the the half-stunne d r a ncbero. and as he ended, they came in sight of "Kee p 'em kive r e d, but wait for the word," the bogged man and horse. Keywoo d uttered cried Bl ac k Bob, taking command as a matter a loud shout, as though to encourage bis friend. I of course. At the same moment a cry came from behind Dan Kaywood did not relish this. The cunand turning bis bead, Walt saw Pedrillo mak'. ning plot was of bis own formation, and be did Ing a wild geiture, as though danger was at not choose to have an outsider s t ep ill and bear band. oil' the honors, to say nothing of a share of the !Wt tQe warning too late. A man upl money. He half-turned bis bead to hurl a Clll'llll


I The Pra.lrle Ranch. at this audacious recro!t, bnt the words never "Yon would have it that I will! Black Bo'b-left bis lips. and as Blaci. B o b I managed t o get you out of a With a force and de:rt.erity that a mule might p r e tty pickl e," wa s the laughing reply. "But have envied Bl ac k Bob p lanted his f oo t unde r I like n e 1tber t b e name n o r tbe r eputation at tlle busby red beard with a kick tbat bw led tbe .ta c b e d to it. Y o u can call me Pardon Good treache rous h erdsma n end ove r end into tbe w a n fo r want of a better name." edge of the slough where he lay quivering, "A g o od man you are, and 1 ask your pardon senseless, the blood gushing from mouth and tor the rough treatment-" noetril& "Not a word, my boy. I'm only sorry that Nor was the old man satisfied with this exthose rascals interfered. It woul( have been ploit. Ere the five men beside ltim could realsuch a treat to have seen your father's j tr.e what bad occurred, he turned the muzzles wben you led me before him as Black Bob, of hill pistols upon them, and opened fire, work-bound band and footl But ometbing always lng the w e apons with a speed and t!exterity turns up to spoil my fun." that was fairly marvelous. "It you real l y insi s t upon it," and Walt Pedrillo saw the kick that placed D a n K ey-grinned at the i d ea, "it's not too late yet." wood hors du combat, and, though he was far "No, the cbarm was broke n when I had to from comprehending the whole truth, he eager-show up in my true c o l o rs, or let you lo s e your ly snatched at the faint hope of rescuing bis money, if no worse. Anyway, I'll have tliefun 7oung friend and master. B ending low in tht> of telling the j o ke on you boys." addle, he urged his horse forward, resolved to "You have honestly earned the right, and I, do or die. for one, am williug to grin and bear it. And Close to bis hee ls came Arthur and Ross, now that we may sooner see the end of your pale a.nd excite d, but with never a personal masquerade, let's find out where these fellows fear. As Walt said, they came of good have bidden their horses, and turn our faces tock, and would never do dishonor to their homeward." raoo. "Dinner first,'' interposed Ross, whose usual There was little for them to do, however, on good appetite returned in full force, now that this occasion. The outlaws were so completely the storm-cloud bad passed over. taken by surprise that ere they reali zed the Dan K eywood gave the desired information, fact that their suppo sed ally was an euemy, though with an ill grace, and Pedrillo sou n two of their number fell dead in their found the hors es where they bad been bidden in tracks. one of the wallows. M eantime Walt b11d been The survivors did fire a shot or two, but that questioning Dao, while the brothers kindled a was purely mechanical, as the y w ere too tbor-fire, and soon g o t at the f a cts. oughly bewildered to tbiok of self-defense, As soon as the herde wouuded rnf!i m made a desper11te dash for 1 tbeir approach. A hors e was driven into the liberty. slough and purposely mired, the n shot. When Pedrillo obeyed without a word, his lasso Walt and bis party came in sight, one of the plucking the fugitive fro m the edge of the bank men took hia position beside the body, the reS!I ever which be was scra mbling. Five minutes hiding in one of tue wtilir,ws. The result has Jatcir be, with D a n K e y wood 1md the mau ov e r-already been recorded. thrown by Plil"don G oodman, were bound band I The three prisoners were bound upon their and toot. horses, the dad men being left wbPre they "Now then, who in thunder are you, any-fell, and the little cavalcade pressed on toward how1' demanded Walt, as be firmly grasped the the raoc h, which was reached just betare nooo band of the old man who had playe d such a I of the next day. -.Nous part in the stirring events of the past Walt quickly explained the meaning of the ty-four hours. bound meu. and Uncle Frank had thelll takea


The Pralrle Jtattcb. !nto the house and placed under guard. T.'len he insisted upon his sons telling the whole story. from tbe very first. During this, the gt ranger sat smoking his pipe, his features almost invisible, thanks to his slouched hat and the cloud was blow ing, seemingly unconscious ot the many in terested glam.:es cast toward him. "You have him to thank for it all," con cluded tlrn young ranchero But for his quick wit and cool courage, you would have lost the money, if not a son." Uncle Frank strode forward and pushed back the broad brim, gazing keenly into the eyes that wE>re 11plifted to his, while Pedrillo and the boys crowded a10und him with Ii ve !y curiosit.y. The ranchero startetl back with a low cry of antl brnsbed a hand nctoss his eyes, as though to clear his sight. The stran ger uttered a short langh. That was cno11gh. The two men were locked in each other's arms, and capered around the morn in that fasl.Jion like two boys ft esh freed from Well, it's all very funny. no doubt, if a fellow could only understand what it means," at length uttered Walt, a liltle sharply. "Introduce me, Frank-I've given so many names already, that he 1rnuldn't be lieve me, alone.'' "Ifs my brother-your uncle Dick-" b>gan Harvey, but there he broke down, fairlv sobbing with excess of joy. "But-he's dead I" chorused the boys. scene that followed is not one for an -idle pen to dwell upon. Teal'9 a::;-; 1angbter -broken aud spasmodic attempts at forced gayety, fotlowerl by a loug explana tion, the substance only of which can l.Je given here: Richard Harvey was evet a rolling stone. A dozen years before it was reported that he diecl at St!a. He wrote, contradicting the re port, but his letters were lost. At lengtl.J he resolved to hunt. up his relatives, and hearing first of his brother Frank, hastened to Colo rado. And this was their meeting! Old as he was, uncle Dick was still a boy at lieart, and many a glorious time did be, Walt, Ross, Arthur ancl Pedrillo lmve that winter, hnntiog and coursing. Antelope, wolf and jack-rabbit chasing formed a por tion of the programme, ang the boys, despite 1heir disnppointment on 1he morning after Pedrillo repaid Walt, by stealing their horses, 1vere gratified by a taste of that most i;lori ons of sports, a tmkey hunt with horses and hovnds. Then there was a winter hunt among the mountains and a taste of trnpping for beaver and otter, all of which are well worthy of record, did not lack of space for birl. Enough that Ross and Arthur returned hnme and to their studies in the spring, with a fresh s11pply of life and health, and many an interesting story to tell their mates. If the reader has experienced tithe of the enjoyment in m1.ding, that they did in acting, the events which are hastily chroni cled here, I am more than satisfied. 'rBE ltJIU


ITATIOI{S BY BEST AUTHORS. ee Collection of Beaut:Jul Compositio'Tl,s, OARF.FULLY COMPILED FOB LYCEUM, PARLOR AND OTHER ENTERTAJ.NMF.NTS. Dy FRANCES P. SULLIVAN. C -"N"TEN TS OF No. 10 PAGE of t>t, "-lwp. E J. Pope....... 3 The Idiot Boy. Anon . .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. . 4 lily Mother's Bibla Geo1c'3 P. Morris:...... 4 The Trumpet. Mrs. Hemans................... 5 Fortitude more than Bro.very. Mrs Henmns 5 Nev e r say "I Can't." Mrs. M A. Kidder... 5's 'l'hings. Thalia. Wilkins o n .. . . .. . 5 '!'he Children in the Moon. From the Scandinavian.......................................... 6 Cleon and I. Charles Mackay .. ............... 6 Courage. Barry Cornwall................... ..... 7 Life Barry Cornwall............. ... ............ 7 The Clhild and the Sunshine. G ee Cooper. 7 Polish War Song. Jo.mes C. PerdYal......... 7 '1'he Coliseum. Byron............. ......... . 8 1'N> Shipwreck. William 8 T!J.'Le is no such Word a!! Fail.... . ............. 8 God No.thsnD. Umer .... . ............ 9 Virtue, Beauty, Piety, One. Mrs. llussell Kavanaugh...................................... 9 The Pharisee's J>r.oyer. H. H. Johnson...... 10 '.l'he Misnome1 ksit. C. Malott ................ l ') Up and be Doii.6 .................................... l l The Scottish Exile. ................................. 11 Paradi s e Riickert. .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. . ... .. ... .. 1 '.l Song of the Bush-Boy. !'r;ngle .............. .. 12 '.l'he F i igltt of the Gio.'.>nr. Byron............. lJ The Word tho.t wo.s n o t too Late. Ebe n E. RexI'lrd ............ .. .. .. .. ..... ................ 1:,. The D rummer-Boy of Card: nell. ratte r s o n....................................... 1; The UnknPwn G oel. J cbn J oslyn ............. 15 Reaurgam. Eben E. Rexford .................. }(; The B<>okkfltlper.......... ................. .... . .. 1 J The Fault of the Age. Ella. 17 The Sergeant's Sto ry. Wyc=..::23 Kit........ l 7 After a. Little. J. W. Dono7= ................. 13 DoYourPart.. J. W.Donovan ................ l!l Ma.clo.ine's Child. Anonymous ....... ..... .. l') Dl'ew tho Wrong Lever. Ale:mndr r Anclf>Tl?"n In the Dark. Geo Arnold .................... ... 21 'l.'he Old Homestead. Walter Bri:ce ........ H The Crowded Street. William Cullen Bryant !i''l The Guiding Light. T. :J!. Watson ............ 22 A 'rranslo.tion from tlte Romo.ic. Chtul es L. Graves ................ ................ ...... 23 The Land of our Birth. Lillie E Barr ....... 2 1 E.,fo:re th& B-:ittl&. William Andrew !Tnrper 2! Znst or West, is Best." Mattie S. \)>:;ru>..... : ... .................................... 25 \'ht.. l:loui of tM G1b'\let. Alfred Thompson 26 . :'AG .. Po.WJtee Pete. A To.le of the Bill Y. Butts: ................................... 28 Quo.trains from Omar Kho.yyam. W. Stokes 27 An Engineer's Story ................................ 2'1 Clouds o.nd Sunlight. Duncan Macgregor.. .. 28 Choice of Trades. A Recitation for several Little Boys. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . 28 Smo.11. Beginmngs. Charles 11-Io.ckuy .......... 211 The Common Lot. James Montgomery ..... 30 ThreeJules. (A Tempera.nee Recitation.) A t!n Q. I:fogern.\lln ......................... 30 Our Own Dear Land. J R: 'Thomas ......... 30 "l'is not l!'ine Feathers that make Fine Birds. Anon .............................................. 31 Tue Ilo.ttle Tro.nslo.ted from Schiller by Sir E. Bulwer Lytton ............................. 31 The Earl of Richmond to h : s Army. Shake-speo.Te ............................................. Switzerland.-'' William Tell." Jo.mes Sheri-dan Knowles .................................... 33 The Death of Leonidas. Rev. Geo. Croly ... 33 The True King. Tro.nslated from Seneca, by Leigh Hunt......... ..................... 34 The Pilot. Thomas Ho.yries Bayly ............ 34 Truth and Honor .................................... 35 One by One. Adelaide A. Procter. .. .. .. . .. 36 'lhe "Rogues' Gullery .......................... 36 We're Growing Old together. William Bnll 37 Their Golden Wedding. James ...... 37 The 011 Oaken Bucket. So.muel Woodw"'rth 37 Extrac t from the Deserted Villagr )liver Goldsmith . .. .. . . . .. ... .. ... ... .. .......... 38 Uncle Joe. Anonymous ........................... 4.0 Fourth of July. George W. I:ethune ......... 4.0 The Poor Man and the Fiend. Anonymous 4.1 Footsteps on the Other Sicle. Margaret Eytinge ........................................... 4.2 The Wolves. Tr;iwbridge ........................ 4.2 The Noblest Men. Anonymous ................ 43 Sheridan at Stone River. Shennan D. Richardson....... .. .. .. .. .. . ... .. .... .. .. .. 4.3 'fhe Old Mill. Thomas Dunn English....... 4.5 Then be Content, Poor Heart." Mrs. May Riley Smith ..................................... 4.5 The Old Professor .................................. 4.5 Pll.rSon Caldwell. ........ ............................ 4.6 The Snake in the J. G. So.xe .......... 4.7 Dare and Do! J. W. Sanborn .................. 4.7 'Ihe Toy of the Giant's Child. From the of Cbain.iaso,., ............... lo


THE DIME DIALOGtrES. SPEAlt:t.S, E'l'O. Dialogues, No. 38. A. Wild Irishman's Diplomacy. 5males & Aunt Deborah in th3 City. For two females. A. Cbinam:i.n in Camp. 1'or turee males. H"stess. For tw o ladies and a little girl. Slig itl)" Hilari<>u 1. For four males. What Happened to H .rnnab For 2 males, 1 femal. The A.waO 1 Strikers. J<'or six little girls. The Missi n .. Essay. A number of girls and teacher W e ll rauglit Losson. several boys. Ephr::t.lm Black's Politics. Several males, 1 female. The Strike That Failro. For three boys. Dime No. 39. Hospitality. For three males aod two femal es. Xobert's Experiment. For 2 male s and 2 f e males. Q :ilte of Al'l'ai s. For fi:btlY nilxed. Three acting characters & cnildren. l\lrs. lJexter's Pers mal. lTor 4 male' noel 2 fPmales. Clothes Don't llhli:a the .M'.ln. For several bo)s. C n1parisons. For two Jit1l3 gi r ls A. Youn.Mutineer. F<>r a lit lle bor an:I girl. A D acisive Failura. Vor 2 m1les anJ 2 females. Canjor Wins ttle Dav. For seven females. Their A spirations F o r six boys and one girl Big Hollo w 8chool. For a school and visitors. A. Very Cle.r Demonstration. two 1 iris. Th'3 Dream L0sson. For 2 malos am! 3 femal es. Why Did Not Like thJ Country. For two boys an I sevi>ril listeners. IJberty. For an eiitire school. In seven scenes. Dim:i Dia.log!les, No. 40. The Widow's Might. For 2 ma.Jes anJ 4 females. D Yeloping a Developer. For five uat es. A N ede d Just ce. For three females. A Happy Uaders'andin(\'. For 2 males and.:.females. The o f T o n Boys. F o r ten boys. His Tni:iin<: Day. For m:lle aud two females. The Society for the Suppre>llion of Scandal. For a nu'llbe r of la.dies. Tha Mot.J.l of u. Dream. 2 boys aud several jwarfs." Waated; A Divorce. Fortwomalesnndonefemale. Med :lli q With Sant11. Claus. l'"umerous ci:aracters. to Win. For two males a .. J two rem.Iles. R )te t ttl' Better Part of Valor. For 4 children. Tne L">ng L 1oked-fnr Comes at For one m:il e anl three f emal>s. How Pat Answerei the Advertisment. For \l males. U oc l 3 David's PV and Then. F n r two little girls. A.n Hour in the W a.itlng Room. S e vere.I characters. Dime Dia.fog ues, N -.. 4 The Happy For 8 mr..les, 8 females and 2 po iceman. T e T ll l'ate Telegram. For 1 ma.l s and 1 female. Too Miov 8mitbs. F.:ir 8 males and 8 f emales. The rc1irteen Ori-Un1l For 1 4 females. The Agent and His Vic tim. For two males. Playing The Race s. For three males. Vi sit To Tne MoJn. F'or tw<> little girls. The New School For Scanjal. 1 male & 5 females. Lime Kiln Club Logic. For colored persons. Breaking ln The Dominie. F> r re1che1 and boys. Watcniag For S-inta Chns. For five c:bildren. er of the NeMlrs, or will be sPnt, po'3tpaid, to any address, on receipt cf pri..:t, ten cents. Dramas and Readings. 164. 12mo Pages. 20 Cents. For Schools Parlors, Entertainments and the Am ateur Stage 'como rising Original Minor s, Oomedy, Fdrce, nr..) E S l ... i eces. Humorous D!aloguo and B11rlesque, by roted writers; and Rec1tauona and Ree.dings, new and standard. af the c eleb rity and interest. Edited by Prof. A. 11. Rtissel, Popular Dime Hand-Books. Young People's Series. Ladies' Letter-Writer. I Gents' Letter-Writer Book of Etiquette. Lovers' Casket. Book of Verses. Ball-room Compam..,. Book of Dreams. Book of Beauty. Hand-Books 0f Ga.mes. Handbook of Winter Sports-Skating, et.e, Chess Instructor. Riding and Driving. .8ool< ol Croquet. I Yachting and Rowlg, Book of PedestriW Guide to Swimming. Handbook ef Summer Sports. Manuals for HousewivMo 1. Cook Book. 14. Family Physiclaa. 2. Recipe Book. a. Housekeeper's Gulde. F"r sal e b;!' all newsdealers, or sent )>Ollt...,W ,.a receipt of price, te n cents. -




.. i DeadW00d Dick i e library @ $ LATEST AND HANDSOME TRI-COLORED COVERS. 32 Pages. Issued Every Wednesday. Buy One and You Will Buy the Rest l K:xuacu from the New York Eve11ln(f Sun. T\'t"O l1l:ttOE!!!o. ln only one 1eo1e ot the word can It be regarded a8 a o.ovel statemeut when the tact ts here recorded that ll1era'ure haR ghen many heroes to the world, tt.nct more than one reader will have to think a rnn111t>11L uv .. r Cbl1 remark before the 1ubtle delicacy of Its geulul wit 1&rlke1 home. But It la most esaentta1Jy a half dime novel 1tareme11r &bat will be news to many when It Is Hdded that Jttera &Ure, it traced fro m dimly distant dayA when A Bos Rob. thA Kini? of Bootblacks IO Deadwood Dick's Double; or, The Ghost of Gorgon's Gu lch 11 Blonde Bill; or. Deadwood Dick's Home Ba.e 112 Solid Sam, the Boy Road-Agent Tony Fox, the Ferret: or, Bos Bob' s Bosa Job 84 A Game of Gold; or, Deadwood Dick's Big Strike 81; Deadwood Dick or Deadwood; or, The Picked Party 86 NPw York Nell. the Hoy-Girl 87 Nobhy Nick of Nevada; or, The Scamps of the SlerrM 88 Wild Frank. the Buckskin Bravo 89 Deadwood Dick's Doom; or, Calamity Jane's Las& Adventure 40 Deadwood Dick's Dream; or. ThP RivRlsof the Road 41 Deadwood Dick's Ward; or, The Black Hills Jezebel 42 The Arab Detective; or, the Boy Sharp 48 The Ventriloquist Detective. A Romance of Rogues 44 Detective Josh Grim; or, The Young Gladiator's Game 45 The Frontier Detective; or, Sierra Sam's Scheme 46 The Jimtown Sport; or, Gypsy Jack ln Colorado 47 The Miner Sport; or, Sugar-Coated Sam' s Claim 48 Dhk Drew, the Miner's Son; or, Apollo Bill, the Roan-Agent 49 Sierrtt Sam. the Detective l:iO Sierrl\ :vice: or, 'J'be Detective Queen 54 Den vPr Doll as Detective 55 Denver Doll's Partner; or;Big Ruckskln the Sport 156 llenver Doll's Mine; or, Little Bill's Big Loss 57 Deadwood Dick Trapped 58 Buck Hawk, Detective; or, The Messenger Boy'e Fortune 69 Deadwood Dick's Disguise; or, Wild Walt, the Spon 60 Dumb Dick's Pard: or. Eliza Jane, the Gold Miner 61 Deadwood Dick's Mision 62 SpottPr Fritz: or, The :Store-Detective's Deco7 63 'l'he Detective Road-Agent; or, The Miners o sfra. Ci' y 64 Colorado Charlie's Detecti'fe Dash; or, The Catt.le Kings JI. J. IVERS & CO. Publishers (James Sullivan ProVrlet.or). 379 Pearl Street. NEW VORK.


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